Chef'N's Artichokester Tool

I am a huge fan of artichokes. Whether it's used in our Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip or Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette, I love the subtle sweetness this versatile veggie adds to any meal. Despite my affection for the vegetable. I've never tried to make them myself—I just opt for the frozen or canned kind. Cutting an artichoke always seemed too intimidating—at least until I discovered Chef'N's Artichokester Tool.

This tool, which is cleverly shaped like an artichoke, is designed to make prepping the vegetable easy (to buy: Sur La Table, $15). The tool consists of two parts, the saw and the scraper. To use, simply place the artichoke stem into the center ring and then saw your way into the vegetable. The heart will easily twist out, leaving you with the whole head of leaves and the heart. Then, use the scraper to remove any of the hairy choke from the heart. And that's it!

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The great thing about this tool is that it's made from stainless steel, so it is safe to use in the dishwasher. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Once you have your broken-down artichoke, you can use the vegetable in a variety of ways. You could keep them whole, stuff them, or just use the leaves. Whatever method you choose, this two-step process will make preparing and eating fresh artichokes a breeze (plus, check out this step-by-step guide for cooking fresh artichokes).

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