I had never really been an artichoke lover until I just recently learned how to cook and eat it in the simplest possible way: steamed until tender, then pick off the leaves one at a time and dip on good olive oil dripped onto a plate, a bit of salt, drag through your teeth to scrape the meat off the leaf and voila! Great finger food. I am addicted.
The prepared artichoke hearts found at cafeterias and salad bars seem to be semi-pickled and just do not compare with fresh cooked. I will probably be growing my own next year, I see that http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8345-imp... has an organic variety.
Now I'm asking fellow chowhounders to please help expand my artichoke universe and share your cooking methods.
I'd also like to hear about local restaurants that have great versions of artichoke, be they appetizers or incorporated into main dishes. I am on a mission, any and all suggestions appreciated.