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How do you cook an artichoke? With its spiky leaves and tender but hidden heart, it can be one of the produce aisle’s scarier items. Banish your fears. Here are two ways to cook the green (or purple) globes. Plus, directions on how to eat them.
The reward for cooking an artichoke is top-notch nutrition. Artichokes offer folate, fiber, vitamins C and K, iron and potassium. The USDA rated it number 7 out of 20 in common fruits and veggies with high amounts of antioxidants, higher than blackberries or black beans!
What is an artichoke
An artichoke is a type of thistle that you can eat. Specifically, it is the bud of a large purple flower, harvested before the flower blooms. The veggie’s prickly reputation has to do with some parts that are inedible – like the toughest outer leaves.
How to cook artichokes
- Remove about an inch off the top of the artichoke.
- Pull or cut off any small dark leaves from the bottom. You don’t want to eat those.
Steam the artichokes
- Put the artichokes in the steamer basket and carefully place them into a large pot of boiling water.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook until an outer leaf can be easily removed. You’ll notice the change in color!
Boil the artichokes
- Combine flour and lemon juice. Mix to a thin, paste. Add this mixture along with a garlic bulb to a large pot of boiling water.
- Carefully place the artichokes into the boiling water with the paste in there.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook until an outer leaf can easily be removed.
How to eat an artichoke
- Pluck off an outer leaf.
- Dip the leaf in sauce of your choosing, place in your mouth, and scrap the tender, inner bottom off with your teeth.
- Make your way through the artichoke. The leaves will become thinner and more and more tender as you get to the center.
- When you have eaten through all the green leaves, the artichoke will look something like a mushroom with a little purple cap. The purple cap is made of super-tender tiny leaves, pull them off together and eat.
- Now you are looking at the “choke” – a feathery, inedible flat cap. Remove and discard.
- Ahh, you have reached the tender, nutritious heart. Dip and enjoy.
What to eat with an artichoke
Try it simply with a sauce made from a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, and pressed garlic. You can also try dipping leaves and the heart with:
- Homemade Aioli
- Homemade Ranch Dip
- Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
- Lebanese Garlic Sauce
- Store-bought mayo doctored with some minced garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil or mayo and balsamic vinegar
Tips for cooking artichokes
- Don’t skip the flour and lemon mixture when boiling. It will help retain the light cream color of a cooked artichoke.
- Don’t use aluminum or carbon steel pans. They impart a metallic taste and discolor the artichokes.
- Shave the stems with a paring knife if they are particularly woody. This will make them more tender when cooked.
- Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut off the pointed ends of the leaves before cooking.
Frequently asked questions
Tightly covered, artichokes should be good for three to five days. You can also tightly wrap and freeze them, but honestly, artichokes are best enjoyed immediately after cooking.
Prep the artichoke as above, and then cut in half. Steam the halves as directed above. Halved artichokes will need about half as much time to cook. After steaming, brush with oil and grill until lightly browned.
While generally available all year, they are at their peak from March to May. A second harvest comes in in September and October.
Artichokes absolutely require a tutorial but learning how to cook and eat them is its own reward.
For more cooking tutorials:
- How to Cook Couscous
- How to Cook Quinoa
- How to Cook Rice
- How to Cook Brown Rice
- How to Cook Pasta
- How to Make Chicken Stock
- How to Make Salad Dressing
If you’ve found this cooking resource for How to Cook an Artichoke helpful or if you’ve tried any recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience with this technique. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
How to Cook an Artichoke
- 3 Artichokes
- 3 Artichokes
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 Bulb garlic cut in half
- Remove about an inch of the top of the artichoke, remove any small dark leaves from the bottom
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Place the artichokes in the steamer basket and carefully place into the boiling water.
- Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 40-60 minutes or until an outer leaf can easily be removed.
- Combine flour and lemon juice, mix to a thin paste, add water if necessary.
- Once boiling, add lemon and flour mixture and garlic bulb to the boiling water.
- Carefully place the artichokes into the boiling water.
- Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 35 minutes or until an outer leaf can easily be removed
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.