I had a very productive day at work and I was even able to squeeze in a run around Green Lake this evening (I have officially started training for the 3rd annual mother/daughter half marathon in Vancouver BC).   I was feeling like something light and fun so naturally artichokes came to mind :0)

My legacy pressure cooker

Artichokes were somewhat of a delicacy in the Hayes House growing up and my parents always used a pressure cooker to prepare them.  I actually inherited the very same pressure cooker and can honestly say that I have never seen or used it for anything else but artichokes…

I remember the first time I made artichokes for Mark…he was super excited because his mom, Annette, used to make them when he was a kid too.  We ate away all the leaves and when we got to the “heart”, he was completely shocked that I was scrapping/digging away for the center of the artichoke…as if he had never had an artichoke heart in his life!  Everyone knows that is the best part and we used to fight for them at my house (graciously, of course), so I was excited that he was so apprehensive about it :0)  Apparently I couldn’t tame my excitement because he caught on quick… I wonder where all the artichoke hearts went in Mark’s household….Annette??  I should take notes from her :0)

Anyway, this is how it is done…

Fill your pressure cooker with about an inch and a half of water and bring to a boil.  Remember to leave the metal rack in the bottom of the cooker!

While the water is heating, snap off the small/split leaves at the base of the artichokes and cut the stem off (leaving about an inch).

Add the artichokes to the water and lock the lid.

On high heat, wait until the cooker gets to high pressure (making a tsk, tsk tsk sound) for about 4-5 minutes and then reduce the heat to low/medium so that the high pressure is maintained.  Wait for another 8-10 minutes and then start to release the pressure.

Open the lid carefully and then test with a fork to make sure the leaves are tender inside.  If they are not, put the lid back on and cook for a few more minutes.

Perfect artichokes using a pressure cooker.

Serve with garlic butter and/or my special Artichoke Dipping Sauce made of mayonnaise (hate to say it, but it is true!), black pepper, a pinch of curry and a pinch of garlic powder.

MMM- Enjoy!