Carciofi Prep

First of all, a note on how to clean artichokes. Rub some lemon juice on your hands first so they don’t turn black. Pull off the outer, harder leaves and cut the tips off the artichokes (about a third of the artichoke head). Clean the stems of the green part, and if you are working on a recipe that requires the artichokes to stand head up, cut them off completely. You can still use the stems for other recipes; they are delicious fried in a batter or stewed. After this, slightly pull apart the leaves and take out all of the hairy stuff that’s in the middle with the help of a spoon, knife or the dedicated tool known as the artichoke hair remover. Dip the artichokes in acidic water (water and lemon juice), leave them in there for half an hour and don’t take ’em out until you’re ready to use them otherwise they will turn black and you don’t want that.