Over time, like most of my childhood food preferences, my aversion to this particular vegetable melted away as I was introduced to various other treatments of this divine thistle. Artichoke pizza, artichoke soup, spinach-artichoke dip... they've all contributed to the rise of the artichoke on my favorite veggies list.
So, every time I walked through the produce section I was drawn to these beautiful giant green flower buds.
After an afternoon's worth of prowling the internet, I found this beautiful post. I have not met a single vegetable that is not made better by spending some time in a hot oven, drizzled with olive oil and salt. This one included another favorite... roasted garlic. Whole cloves are roasted inside the artichoke, adding flavor, but also becoming little nuggets of love on their own.
I'll admit, I was surprised and a little disappointed by how little flesh there was on these leaves. In my mind's eye, each leaf contributed a whole bite's worth... This is far from the truth. As I moved my way down to the center the disappointment withered with each bite. On one regular artichoke, there are a lot of leaves.
Once you get down to the choke, the real fun starts. Given the long roasting time in a hot oven, pulling the choke off of the heart is as easy as pulling the white fuzzies off of a dandelion seed head. Just use the edge of a spoon to start the process and pull the fibrous top section away.
(Don't bother trying to eat any of this, these "hairs" are very similar in texture to the pin bones on a fish. They're also quite a bit more bitter than the rest of the artichoke.)