t h e  v e r t i c h o k e

How to Use the Vertichoke Veggie Rack...

... for the best artichokes EVER

The world has finally caught up to how to cook the perfect artichoke. Secrets held for centuries are now made simple with the Spanek Vertichoke, and with the help of our good old friend, master chef, Maurice Cazalis, whose love for artichokes made this invention possible.

Step 1. Basic preparation and cleaning

Rinse off any dirt hiding between the leaves and snip off the thorny points with a pair of scissors. Remove any of the small bottom leaves.

Step 2. Trimming the leaves and stem

With a sharp knife remove the top of the artichoke, leaving a flat surface top...

... and remove the stem.

Step 3. Preserving flavor and color

Squeeze fresh lemon all over the surface of the artichoke. Not only does this add flavor, it preserves the beautiful green color while cooking!

Step 4. Putting the 'choke on the rack

Gently loosen and spread the leaves away from the center of the choke ...

... and firmly press the artichoke, upside down, onto the rack. For smaller artichokes use the smaller wire spread, and for those wonderful jumbo artichokes use the larger wire spread.

Step 5. Cooking

Set your artichokes in a pot that sits on top of the stove. (Do not use cast iron or aluminum; they will turn the artichokes black.)

The artichokes should sit comfortably and able to be covered. Put ½" of water in the bottom of the pan. You want them steaming ... replenish the liquid during cooking as needed.

Squeeze 1 tablespoon lemon juice into the water, and add ¼ teaspoon salt per artichoke.

Another idea would be to add a bay leaf and some garlic cloves to the water -- yummy!

Bring water to a boil. Reduce to medium heat, cover, and follow this chart for cooking times:

Small Artichokes: 15 - 20 minutes
Medium Artichokes: 20 - 25 minutes
Large Artichokes: 25 - 30 minutes
Jumbo Artichokes: 35 - 46 minutes

Step 6. Done? Ready to serve!

To check if artichokes are done -- insert a knife or skewer into the stem of the artichoke. If it meets little resistance, your artichoke is cooked.

To serve: Remove artichokes with tongs to a serving platter — leaving them on the stands. Eat the leaves right off the rack, dipped in your favorite sauces!

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