Whether you are buying a full size ball or artichokes, look for fleshy, thick, deep green leaves. If your artichoke recipe only calls for artichoke hearts, plan to eat the leaves in one meal and save the hearts for another – the leaves have the same earthy artichoke flavor as the heart.
credit: itayuri / iStock / Getty Images The freshest artichokes have fresh, fresh leaves.
Selection of new artichoke
Look for artichokes Plum, firm stems and dense leaves ? The inner circle of the leaves should form a small narrow hole in the center of the vegetables. Hold the artichoke in your hand and feel its weight – a heavy artichoke about its size means it is moist and fresh. When the artichokes are fresh, the leaves produce noise when squeezed.
What bad artichokes look like
If the tips of an artichoke are split, shrunk and dry or discolored with dark brown edges, the artichoke is over the edge and will not be good for eating. If the edges of the leaves remain intact but appear discolored, the artichoke may be damaged by frost, but their quality is still good. An artichoke with loose leaves and a large hole in the center of the leaves are not fresh and not worth buying.
Save the artichokes
The earlier you cook the artichokes, the better they taste. Rinsed artichokes will stay fresh for about three to four days if left loose in a refrigerator drawer. Put in an airtight container, still good for a week.
Cut the stem and top half an inch of artichoke to begin preparation. Press the small, outer leaves and all the old leaves on the edges. Then cut the chopped ends of the remaining leaves with scissors and wash the artichoke under running water. Place the artichoke upside down on a steamer standing in a large pot of boiling water. Boil it for about 45 minutes or until you can easily slide a sharp knife into the ground.