Artichokes

Ever make fresh Artichokes at home? Go for it. You can do it! The heart and the flesh at the base of the petals of a cooked Artichoke have a mild vegetable flavor that is slightly nutty – perfect to add to casseroles, potato salads, dips and more!

How-To Select, Prepare, Cook and Eat Artichokes

Selecting

  • Select Artichokes that feel firm, have tight petals and have a fresh squeak when you squeeze them.
  • But handle carefully! Some Artichoke varieties have sharp thorns this time of year at the tip of the petals.

Preparing

  • Wash to remove outer natural waxy coating (which can taste bitter)
  • Trim ½” from base of stem, peel outer portion of the stem. Middle of stem is an extension of the edible “heart.” Or just remove stem completely.
  • Pull off small petals from stem plus small petals at the bottom of the Artichoke.
  • Optional: Snip the thorny tips of each petal with a scissors.
  • Cut ½”-1” off the top of the Artichoke
  • Optional: Rub cut areas with lemon juice or dip in lemon water to prevent browning/oxidation

Cooking

  • Boil: 25-45 minutes in salted water, submerged, cover with lid
  • Steam: 30-40 minutes, stem side up
  • Bake: 55-75 minutes, double wrapped in foil, stem side down, minced garlic/olive oil/balsamic vinegar drizzled between petals
  • Microwave: 15-20 minutes in ½” water in dish, dish covered with plastic wrap, garlic/olive oil/balsamic vinegar drizzled between petals.  Or buy artichokes now in a “Microwave Ready” pack which will steam 2 cleaned and prepped artichokes in 6-7 minutes.
  • Grill: use fully cooked Artichoke from one of the above methods, halve it, brush with oil, season with salt/pepper, grill 4-5 minutes per side

Eating

  • Pull flesh from the base of the petal with your teeth. Many people prefer to dip the petals in melted butter, olive oil, balsamic vinegar or garlic-seasoned mayonnaise
  • Remove the inedible, fibrous and fuzzy middle portion (the choke) with a spoon
  • Below the Choke is the Artichoke Heart, this part is the meatiest and can be cut up and added to pastas, soups, casseroles, dips, antipastos and more.

Recipes: 21 beautiful and inspiring artichoke recipes from CookingLight.com can be found here.