If you have a pressure cooker that's the easiest way I've found for 'chokes. About 17-19 minutes at pressure. I've never worn gloves when handling them & haven't noticed any staining, but I've also never gotten them fresh from the plant. I've also given up on trimming the thorns, we just ignore them.
I think the bottom most leaves can be a little bitter, so I usually pull them off after cooking. Then we just pluck a leaf, dip it in lemon butter and scrape the 'meat' off with our teeth. We usually have a bowl or plate available for our used leaves. Then after most of the leaves are gone,to get the heart, take a knife and at about a 45 degree angle, cut around the center section. This is so incredibly hard to describe! So much easier to show someone!
When I grow up, I wanna be a Jiujitsu Turtle!
My british name, courtesy of Ninja Dog Shade Haven-Staffordshire: TRBL Hough Jewelstone Turtleneck
Its chaos a few hairs at a time. ~Minxy