Look for locally grown artichokes at your farmers market or grocery store from early spring to early fall, when they're in season. Keep these tips in mind:
Once you get the artichokes home, store them in the crisper drawer (not in a bag or container) of your refrigerator. They should last two to three days before needing to be prepared.
When you are ready to eat them, rinse the artichokes under cold running water, gently pulling back the leaves to get rid of any dirt and debris stuck in the leaves.
Preparation varies with your intended use:
With so many ways to prepare artichokes, you just need to be creative. One favorite way to enjoy artichokes is steamed whole; to eat, you peel off each leaf and scrape the meat off with your teeth, typically after dunking in a dip.
They're also delicious stuffed with crabmeat, other vegetables, cous cous or a variety of other items. You can even grill them, bake them in the oven, or mix them with pasta. Just remember to dig to the bottom of the leaves -- the tastiest parts.
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