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Video: Try Giada’s artichokes-made-easy

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    >> giada de laurentiis is here with some of her --

    >> it's freezing!

    >> let's huddle!

    >> you look like a little tiny baby sister .

    >> i know i do.

    >> it's cute.

    >> i wore my highest possible heels.

    >> what are we doing?

    >> freezing. what we're doing is talking about --

    >> freezing!

    >> yes and some of my favorite herbs and ingredients so we've got great herbs, chives, beautiful lavender which i made some hot tea. you can if you wish. lots of artichokes, this is the season, they're the best ever.

    >> it's not hot anymore. it was hot a while ago. i'm going to teach you how to clean artichokes. i have a sort of cheat sheet. we're going to choke the artichoke. c for, look at savannah ready.

    >> i'm ready.

    >> take a sharp knife, watch your fingers and cut the top off.

    >> i don't think my knife is sharp.

    >> you dave gave me a dull knife !

    >> here can i help you?

    >> no!

    >> here you use one.

    >> that is so mean, giada.

    >> i'd never do that to you.

    >> yes you did.

    >> hello, chop it off. now what?

    >> h, lots of lemons on hand because artichokes oxidize quickly so i squeeze it into the water and dump the woel thing in, easy. and a couple garlic cloves for flavor. h was half the lemon, i can't remember now. so "o" we'll cut the artichoke and trim it inside.

    >> how is that "o"?

    >> open the artichoke.

    >> i need a saw.

    >> mine went through. lean on the knife.

    >> i'm leaning on it.

    >> i have an idea you use my knife and i'll use your knife. cut them in half. now turn them flat side down and we're going to cut it again. i can use your knife. if i can do it you can do it.

    >> you cut them in quarters.

    >> now what?

    >> that's the ogs "o."

    >> got it.

    >> keep cleaning, okay? so we're going to trim the inside, so all that hairy stuff, savannah, get rid of it and the little turnle leaves right there.

    >> this is so much work. don't they have it at the grocery store done?

    >> okay, yes. they're not usually done. i take little scissors like this, natalie you want to help us and just trim them.

    >> i'm not going anywhere near these two with knifes.

    >> we're adults.

    >> you want to learn how to do this, it's pretty cool. you can do it like that or pull them off, cut the ends, they're not that pretty and just trim and you take them and the "e" is eat and enjoy. you cook them in there, 45 minutes until they're tender.

    >> we have about 30 seconds so show them the end piece.

    >> i top them with a little bruscheta and serve them room temperature.

    >> do you really feel they're worth it in.

    >> yes because they're delicious and good for you.

    >> and in the recipe you can use frozen ones.

    >> thank you, giada. have some cold tea .

    >> it was fun being with you.

    >> i think we learned a lot about ourselves today.

    >> we can't clean, or cook or make floral arrangements.

    >>> welcome to "today" on this wednesday morning, march 20th , 2013 , first day of spring and we're celebrating. we've got our spring fling out on the

TODAY recipes
updated 3/20/2013 9:51:31 AM ET 2013-03-20T13:51:31

Recipe: Lemon-cumin chicken

  • Marinade
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Pesto
  • 1 1/2 packed cups (about 1 large bunch) fresh mint leaves
  • 1 packed cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray

For the marinade:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper flakes until smooth. Add the chicken and toss until coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Can also be made in a re-sealable plastic bag.)

For the pesto:

In a food processor, blend the mint, spinach, cheese, walnuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until chunky.  With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until smooth.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Spray the grill lightly with vegetable oil cooking spray.

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Place on a platter and serve with the pesto.

To toast the walnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Stuffed Artichokes

  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 large artichokes
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 4 tablespoons drained capers
  • 6 ounces Italian bread, crust trimmed, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 fresh Italian parsley sprigs for garnish

Squeeze the juice from the lemon halves into a large pot of cold water; add the squeezed lemon halves and the whole garlic. Cut off the top quarter of each artichoke and discard. Use a small sharp knife to trim the stem of the artichokes. Starting at the base, bend the tough outer leaves back and snap off where they break naturally, leaving the tender inner leaves. Trim the outside of the base until no dark green areas remain. Cut the artichokes in half and then into quarters. Cut out the fibrous choke and small purple-tipped leaves. Submerge the artichoke quarters in the lemon water. Cover and boil until the artichokes are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain. Set the artichoke quarters aside to cool to room temperature.

Mix together lemon juice, herbs, garlic, lemon peel, capers, bread, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange artichokes, cut side up, on 2 platters. Spoon the tomato mixture into the center of the artichoke quarters, dividing equally. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with the parsley sprigs and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Recipe: Lavender and vanilla lemonade

  • Simple syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 12 fresh lavender flowers with 3-inch stalks attached or 2 tablespoons dried lavender
  • Lemonade
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 large lemons)
  • 3 cups water, plus extra, to taste
  • Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean seeds, empty vanilla bean pods and lavender over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

Stir the simple syrup, lemon juice and water together in a pitcher. Chill for at least 2 hours until ready to serve. Pour into glasses and garnish with fresh lavender sprigs.

Serving Size

Makes 4-6 servings

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