Thanks! I was never quite sure how to eat the heart. I like to dip with mayo mixed with a little soy sauce.
I found this recipe to be very easy to follow and step-by-step explanations to be accurate. However, after much anticipation of eating my own artichoke cooked at home, versus years of artichokes in the restaurant over seasoned, I was greatly disappointed in the flavor of the artichokes. I agree with the person leaving the comments that they don’t get what the big deal is about artichokes….Way too much work for just a teeny, tiny bite, (if it even qualifies as a bite). It is way too much work for very little satisfaction and eating a high calorie unhealthy buttery sauce, etc., is not in my diet plan for being healthy. This was my reasoning for wanting to cook my own artichokes as I am a cancer survivor and trying to be more more healthy , that is such an oxymoron process if you have to dip it in butter or heavily-calorie mayonnaise etc. I am foregoing ever cooking an artichoke, again, and will enjoy a rare artichoke dip once a year in celebration of a unique green vegetable .
My mother made delicious artichokes by cutting the tops off, wash them and open the center. She made a stuffing with soda crackers, hamburger or sausage, salt and pepper and a slice of pepperoni on top. She roasted them in a dutch oven with a little oil. They came out with the bottom fried like a potato. YUMMMM We ate them without dipping, but could have used mayo.
I use mayo with apple cider vinegar. My very favorite way to eat them. I do have a really good recipe for Artichokes with shrimp. looks so pretty when made after cooking you pull off the leaves then put the shrimp mixture on each leaf (small amount) clean out the choke and put a mound of the shrimp on the heart and lay all the leaves out like a flower.
Great post! I just posted a recipe for stuffed artichokes and while trying to describe the steps on actually eating them decided I could probably find something online to link to. I found you first and this is so perfect. Just what was needed. You described it all perfectly! I added a link to your post in mine. Thanks so much!
Am I the lone dissenter when it comes to artichokes? I live within a ston’s throw of a region in California known for growing some of the finest domestic artichokes. I can literally get them right off the stalk. I have used the recipe on this website, (which is easy and works very well ) plus my family’s Italian recipe. Sorry. I just don’t get artichokes. There is practically nothing to eat in them. All you really taste is the dipping sauce plus a very, very tiny amount of flavor from the artichoke itself. If humanity had relied on eating this thistle for its survival, Darwin’s theory would have disposed of Homo sapiens a long time ago. To those of you who enjoy artichokes, I say with enthusiasm, you’re welcome to my ration of them. I’ll stick to eggplant.
I have a few plants in western Ireland and should like to find out how to grow them properly please?
Many of us enjoy artichokes, I do find flavor in them and I love eating them. They are a little expensive, though; I wish I lived where you live. :)
Dipping sauce…..mixture of melted butter, squeezed lemon, and garlic salt. Simple and very good.
Thank you! I would not have thought to cut the top off or trim the outer leaves. I really had no clue. I am cooking mine now! My brother made them for me once and wanted to try them ever since. I plan to use butter for dipping!
Thanks for this! I’ve always eye-balled them in the store, but had no idea what to do with them. Ever since I got an electric steamer a while back, I’ve been trying to steam vegetables that are new to me. They were much easier than I thought they would be and tasted wonderful! Thanks for the preparing (and eating) tips.
Hi Craig, another artichoke convert! I’m so happy the instructions worked for you and you were pleased with the results.
My mother was US born Sicilian. She made them like her mother. Put garlic between the leaves and bread crumbs. We dipped in butter with garlic. She used the steam method with the chokes sitting on cut off stems in about one inch of water. I do remember them cooking an hour or more.
Everybody LOVES artichokes! I suppose that’s a given, but how did people first begin eating them? It must have been a cold and hungry time before people thought to eat such a formidable vegetable.
I went to this site because I don’t have a clue how to cook or eat artichokes??? I bought a couple of artichokes because I saw on TV Andrew Zimmerman (he does bizarre foods) grilling artichokes. I have yet to try cooking and/or grilling them, but I will attempt “The Boiling Method n the Basalmic Vinegar n Mayo Combo”. Sounds delicious . I’m trying to eat healthier and lower my cholesterol and blood pressure, etc. AND…My doc has me in this low carb diet (45-60 grams of carbs per meal). But…what American eats healthy nows days, right? I may need to skip the mayo n use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter OR I may just splurge one time (idk)?
We use a slight variation. We cut off ALL the stem, right up to the bottom leaves, and the tops which are mostly inedible anyway. (That takes a VERY sharp knife and considerable pressure. Be careful!!) Then we cook them covered, upside down, in about an inch of chicken broth. When you pull off the lid the bottoms are facing you. In 30-45 minutes you will be able to slide a paring knife down into the hearts without resistance. They are done. Eat them as described above. Folks prefer butter or mayonnaise with them but the possibilities are endless.
Hey, one more tip… Use long tongs to grab them out of the pot and place them upright on the plate. They’re really hot. No sense getting scalded.
For a low carb diet to work, you need to eat lots of healthy fats. Margarine is not healthy. Please indulge in butter and mayonnaise (homemade is best) with your artichokes.
Frances, I was thinking the same thing!
Thanks so much for sharing! I grew up in Northern California but spent my teens and adult year living here and there. I forgot how delightful artichoke is until I stum a tossed some in my local super. This post brought back great childhood memos!
honestly i just eat it the same way except without cutting the thorns and i just throw it in the microwave for 5 minuts. you dont have to cook it for 35 minutes if youre in a hurry. just put it in the microwave for 5 minutes.
I grew up eating artichoke hearts with scrambled eggs. Just slice boiled or steamed hearts into bite size pieces, sauté in olive oil or butter until brown and then add beaten eggs and scramble together. Season to taste.
I love steamed or boiled Artichoke when they are in season. My tip if you like it with melted butter, you MUST try brown butter instead. Use this recipe, but use salted butter instead, or add salt to taste. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_brown_butter/
This makes me feel like I am eating the Lobster of vegetables – VERY RICH flavor!
Love the idea of using browned butter!
Love and have fixed lots of artichokes. Always remove 1″ from top. Too impatient and have never trimmed tips of petals. Tastes just fine
Nordic Ware makes a microwave pressure cooker. You use to cook artichokes. It only takes 4 minutes to cook.
Good to know Sandra, thank you!
Being the impatient one I have already sliced through an Artichoke now intend to boil it.Oops the Hairy bit may escape!!!
Though I am not of Italian descent, our family’s nursery was surrounded by hundreds of acres, and shared the water supply of 2 artichoke farms. My dad was good friends of the owners, and we could pick artichokes whenever we wante, as long as the workers had gone home for the day. The way we prepared (and still prepare) the artichokes was to cut the stem entirely off so it could sit upright on a plate. Then they were placed in a pan with enough water to cover them, though they never stayed submerged. A tablespoon or more of vinegar – cider vinegar is best, is added to the water, depending on the amount of water. Bring to a boil, covered, and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Test for being done by piercing the heart with a fork or pulling a couple of leaves off. For dipping, we mix some lemon juice, onion salt and pepper with mayonnaise. I do it by taste, as does the rest of the family. Don’t have amounts – never did. As for the papery leaves just before you get to the heart, grasp them all at once by the tips and dip and eat like you do the leaves. They are even better flavored than the regular leaves. Scrape or cut the center hairs out and dip the heart. Enjoy.
That’s how we prepare them also. 30-45 minutes. When a fork slides into the heart without much resistance, they’re done! I provide butter and mayonnaise but everybody seems to prefer mayonnaise. I guess that just goes better with the flavor of artichoke.
Major philosophical question >> Why even THINK about trying to cook an artichoke in anything other than a pressure cooker. Also….. I have been to 4 Star restaurants that don’t know how to prepare an artichoke properly. In the case of the MIS-understood artichoke, PROPERLY = THOROUGHLY. Cook that puppy–in a pressure cooker for 28+ minutes—until it’s soft enough to get most ALL the meat off the leaves. When I see “recipes” that call for about 45 minutes steamed, methinks that the eater will get about 15% of the available food off the leaves. Steaming without a pressure cooker requires probably 2+ hours. I grew up eating artichokes, and often visit Castroville, CA., artichoke capital of the EARTH.
I really loved the mayo/Balsamic vinegar dip! Thanks for this.
Love all the sauce suggestions! I like to prepare the Good Seasons Italian Dressing packets using Balsamic Vinegar. Let it set a day or two! It makes a wonderful dip for freshly steamed/boiled artichoke!!
I like to dip my steamed artichoke in a good Italian dressing. Yum!
OK, but how are you supposed to eat a stuffed artichoke?
Great question. Just pull off the leaves and if you can capture some of the stuffing in it, great. Place in mouth, pull out. scraping the leaf with your teeth. So instead of dip, you’ll have some stuffing on the leaves.
I should try artichoke again. I didn’t cut off all the spines last time and I guess I didn’t cook it long enough either. It poked my mouth a lot.
A friend in Alaska has just introduced me o this wonderful site … and how to prepare and enjoy artihokes. Please: Can anyone explin what Romano cheese is? Also, cream cheese: Could this be Philadelphia cream cheese, which we can get here (in Copenhagen)? I will definitely bookmark simplyrecipes.com
Hello Anna, if you Google Romano Cheese, you’ll get plenty of answers about it. As for cream cheese, yes Philadelphia cream cheese is the most popular brand of cream cheese in the US.
Try dipping in hollandaise sauce. Tonight was the first time I had an artichoke and it was delicious. Something new for the menu, thanks!
The way I love them is to prepare them plain (a little salt in the boiling water) and then to nibble small bits of gouda, gruyere or other cheese – which has been at room temperature, not cold – as I take each bite of the artichoke leaf, heart or stem. This really makes the taste of the cheese and the choke pop out. Awesome. If I eat them this way I skip the olive oil as cheese has fat and that is enough.
They’re excellent when dipped in ranch dressing. Yummy!
My Noni taught me a different way, I love them.
Slice the tail off flat to the bottom of the artichoke. used Scissors to cut the sharp tops off. Cut the stringy part of the stems off so you can add them to your pan.
Slice a bunch of garlic thin and endeavor to put 1 slice in every leaf, a few in the middle. Shake into the leaves some fine ground pepper and salt to taste (Noni liked a lot of pepper, i use a little).
put enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your large pot, I usually drizzle some on the chokes too. Throw in some of the sliced garlic in the pot and the stems. Add about an inch of water, cover and simmer for about an hour.
Very important, let the water cook out, you want the bottoms to get browned and sticky but not burnt so watch the temp. Sometimes you might need to add water if it cooks out too fast.
Those stems are like the heart and will be ready early so the cook gets them if someone doesn’t sneak in and swipe em.
It sounds like a lot of work but really isn’t. If I make these and don’t save one for my neighbor she really gives me a hard time, she says they are to die for :).
I have never had an artichoke until tonight – my boyfriend has been mentioning how great they are for a few years now, since he had them with his family when younger! Thanks for the info on how to cook it, but even more importantly, how to eat it!! The directions were very easy and created wonderfully delicious artichokes!! Thanks again!! :oD
Try adding Mrs. Dash and even out the mayo with equal parts of sour cream this dip can also be used with taquitos it’s great
Years ago I had spiced artichokes at a jazz restaurant in Portland, Oregon. I went home determined to replicate this appetizer treat and have made these for years. I put the artichokes on a rack in a deep pot. I add pickling spice to the water, cover and steam for 20 minutes. I remove the lid, drizzle the artichokes with olive oil and immediately pour boiling water over them. I cover and steam for another 20 minutes. They are wonderful hot or at room temperature. They have a beautiful olive oil glaze (the boiling water removes the excess) the taste is sublime and we dip them in butter/lemon or mayo. I have two cooking right now.
Thank you for this!! This is the best description I have found for this on the internet. Made two this way now, and perfect!! My 3 year old even loves them now.
On Dr. Oz the other day, it was reported that artichokes have a large amount of cancer fighting agents in them. It’s 0ne of the top five foods recomended to head off cancer. They will be in my diet till death do us part.
I have never made artichokes or eaten one. Myself and my husband want to try something new, inparticular to hopefully get our children to atleast try something new. Having picky eaters we sure do hope that they will hopefully like them or atleast grow to like them as well as myself!!
When I need to cook something at the first time of my life, I know I can trust simplyrecipes. Here I can find very good instructions for such a beginner as me. But this recipe didn’t work for me, it’s already an hour and a half passed while simmering and my artichokes are still raw.
Sounds like you have some tough artichokes. Just cook them until you can easily peel off one of the outer petals. ~Elise
tastes delicious and sweet after eating a few petals. Another poster mentioned there is an acid in artichokes that makes liquids taste sweeter and it I’d say that is true.
I grew up eating Artichokes in season. LOVE THEM! I always found it strange when I met people who had never had Artichoke before. Such an awesome vegetable. Who knew a thistle could taste so good?
I always use Ranch dressing for dip.
Great article, thank you! This was my first time cooking, and tasting, artichoke and the result was delicious. Even my 3 year daughter enjoyed it. Also, thanks for the mayo-balsamic vinegar dip idea!
Here’s a super simple way to do artichokes. Simply cut in half from top to bottom. Using a sharp knife cut out the hairy part at the center- easy to do with the artichoke cut in half. Also pull out some of the center leaves that have sharp spikes. Squeeze lemon juice on heart to keep from turning brown. Simmer cut side down in water with lemon slices, fresh garlic and salt. It cooks much faster than a whole ‘choke. A half artichoke makes an individual serving. Put your favorite sauce in the well where the hairy part used to be- voile!
I just prepared my artichokes with great confidence-having read your instructions plus comments – it was great & I tried a new dipping sauce for them & loved it.
The small purple ones you’ll find in the South of France and can eat whole. I enjoy the big fat green ones from Brittany that you cook in a pressure cooker and eat only the flesh of, leaf by leaf dipped in a vinaigrette (mustard, vinegar and olive oil). A tip : if you break the stem off before cooking (turn it in your hands, easing off the stem little by little) it will rid you of the stringier bits in the heart. Not only are artichokes delicious, but you also feel very virtuous because you spend so much time eating so few calories…
Being Italian my parents and grandparents ate artichokes stuffed. But, I boil mine with a mixture of white wine, garlic powder, a little oil and I do use a bay leaf ( it does add great flavoring). Once they are cooked around 30 mins of rapid boiling.. I make a mixture of olive oil/ salt/ pepper .. this is an Italian recipe/ tradition… its delicious and less the calories as olive oil or cannola oil is good for you.. Enjoy !!
I stuff them too but after we boil them and then pour gravy (sauce ) over them bake them for 30 minutes
Yum is right! We eat artichokes regularly.
If by chance you have one leftover they are delicious cold with a drizzle of your favorite vinegarette and served with cottage chesse on the side.
My daughter wants to know what would happen if she were to eat the fuzzys attached to the heart would do to her well being.
Great question, sounds like she already did it? I suspect that stuff would pass right through her. ~Elise
My artichokes were great! I hadn’t done any in a long time and I looked online to do them the right way… this was perfect! They were the best i’ve ever had! Thank you!
Thank you for a wonderful and concise explanation of how to prepare and eat an artichoke. I work for a major grocery store chain and this will it make it easier for me to explain to our customers how to select, prepare and eat one. The comments were extremely helpful as well.
Thank you so much for this article. My mum used to cook artichokes for us occasionally – boiling them – and I loved them. Since moving out of home I’ve cooked so many things for the first time – the other day I saw artichokes for sale and knew I had to try to cook one for myself. Luckily my housemates had a steamer basket!
I’d only ever had artichokes with a lemon juice/olive oil mix – they are wonderful with mayonnasie =]
An alternate cooking method: trim off 1-1/2 inch of the stem. Put in pressure cooker with enough water to cover bottom of pressure cooker 1/2 inch. Lock pressure cooker. Put on high heat. When the pressure cooker reaches full pressure and starts to chug, cook 5-8 minutes depending on size. It is done when you can smell artichoke in the kitchen. Remove from heat. De-pressurize your pressure cooker per manufacturer’s instructions. Peel the leaves individually. The bottom leaves may be bitter if your artichoke has a lot of purple. I enjoy mine with mayo.
I was raised eating artichokes regularly and have fond memories of those days, since it’s been about 15 years since I’ve had one! I actually read through all (most# of the comments here just to reminisce about my childhood #pretty sad eh?#. It’s been way too long and I think I’m going to go and get me one ;)
Anyways, my father always used to make a dipping sauce with just olive oil, lemon juice and seasoned with salt and pepper – delicious. Funny thing is, in all the years I had eaten them, I never even conceived the idea that any other sauce could, would or should be used so this article has really opened up my eyes.
There’s mention here of the tiny (spikey) inner leaves that can be discarded. In my experience there were always a few different varieties and, from memory, some have leaves that progressively become softer, the closer you get to the heart, so that eventually, the entire leaves can be eaten whole. The same variety also lacks the ‘fuzzy’ choke mentioned here so that the only part of the artichoke that is discarded is the outer leaves. If you can find this variety, it’s so much better than its woody counterpart.
Also, I was taught to always drink a glass of water after eating the heart and enjoy the natural sweetness the artichoke imparts to it. Enjoy!
Of course! I totally forgot about the water at the end. Isn’t it weird that if you drink a little water after eating artichoke it makes the water taste sweet? Love that. And I do remember as a child picking at the small tender inside leaves and eating as much of them as I could. Some you could eat whole. Nothing was ever wasted, every bite was so precious. ~Elise
I have a suggestion for using mayo as the dipping sauce. I absolutely love using Best Foods, also known as Hellman’s, mayo and mixing some parmesan cheese or adobo seasoning with it. The taste is very delicious these ways.
My wonderful wife mixes shredded cheddar cheese, mayo and milk on low heat for a dipping sauce. It is absolutely incredible with artichokes. I love your site.
All you need is a microwave, and some wax paper.
This recipe does look great, and much better than the old boiling method that leaves them soggy and discolored.
My way to make artichokes is to follow all of the early trimming and washing steps, then take about 12 inches of wax paper and wrap up the artichoke, put it in the microwave for 5-7 minutes on 50% power (reducing the power is important), when the timer goes off, flip the artichoke and cook it for another 5-7 min on 50% power. The amount of time depends on the size of your artichoke and the power of your microwave. Just adjust as necessary. Your artichoke is done when the outer leaves peel off easily.
This technique comes from my grandma who was an amazing cook and managed to incorporate many different techniques and tools into her cooking (especially during the 70s :D)
Thank you. Cumin added to your mayo and balsamic vinegar makes great dip. Good with asparagus too.
Where’s the Bearnaise Sauce?
I’ve actually received marriage proposals – some from already married men – when serving artichokes with Bearnaise Sauce! :P
Great suggestion, thank you! For those looking for a bearnaise sauce recipe, check Food Blog Search for some great ideas. ~Elise
Great sauce that we use is mayonaise mixed with horseradish. Awesome if you like a little kick.
I’ve only had an artichoke once in my life and the last time was at my cousins years ago. I bought one today actually and was looking how to cook them, great explanation. Everyone else offered really insightful recipes and tips too. Thank you so much!
I learned to love the noble artichoke from my parents. We always considered them a great treat! Now as a father, I’ve gotten my children hook on them too. Here are some more dipping sauce suggestions: 1) Green Goddess salad dressing. 2) Ranch salad dressing. 3)Olive oil 4)Red Wine vinegar. Enjoy!
Others have already mentioned a mayo/curry mix. I grew up eating artichokes, broccoli, string beans and even canned beets with a few drops of soy sauce mixed into mayo, about 1/8th tsp. in 1/4 cup of mayo. When I discovered curry powder, I started adding 1/4 tsp. to the mix. Either way, it’s yummy.
WOW! This is amazing! MMMM, mayo and balsamic vinegar is fantastic. It was also great with mustard and wasabi…Mmmm! I recommend everyone eats this glorious vegetable all the time! Cheers!
Mason Jar use to serve artichokes with powdered curry and mayo mixed. Add to a warm steamed artichoke, drenched with lemon drippings. It is wonderful.
Very helpful – thank you!
Growing up we used to eat them with plain yogurt mixed with lipton onion soup mix. Delicious.
I am cooking one as I write this. Your tips are heaven sent. I ate them all the time growing up but I couldn’t remember how to cook them. Since my mother passed away I couldn’t ask her either.. I think I will visit the website more often. Thank you!
Cheree, Olympia, WA
Mayo, lime juice, ketchup, ancho chilli powder, garlic powder, dash of horseradish if u have some.
The bay leaf tip was genius:)
Thanks for the refresher. I couldn’t remember how long to cook these little guys. My fav dip is curried mayo. A huge hit with everyone I know. I just take a tsp or two of curry powder, cook in with a little butter in a small sauce pan. This helps get the “raw” flavor out of the curry. Then I let it cool completely and then mix it into 1/4 mayo. everyone swears I slaved over the sauce!
Thank you for the helpful information! My husband is an Italian that grew up in New York eating artichokes as a kid at almost every meal. I had to make some for him tonight, but didn’t know how to cook them. He didn’t remember himself either, because his Great Grandmother used to cook them, along with his Great Grandfather. The artichokes were a success, thanks to you! We enjoyed them immensely.
We tried this and it was yummy. We had to boil for 45 minutes in order for the leaves to come off easily. A real treat.
I’ve eaten artichokes all my life.
The sauce I eat is more simple: corn oil, vinegar and salt. Try it!
Whenever I saw artichokes, I wanted to know the cuisine. The above recipe is very easy.
But in Korea, the artichokes is not famous so it’s very hard to purchase in supermarket.
If I have a chance, I want to try.
Is there more suitable sauce?
I never see artichokes in Sainsburys :-(.
But we went over to France yesterday and the wife saw them in great piles in the store.
She wanted to try one, but didn’t know what to do. She does that a lot with new foods :-)
I found this page and remembered the one time when I was a kid and mum cooked one. We came from american/scillian background and gran always does cardoons and artichokes.
It was great and the balsamic/mayo dip was really good.
My 9 year old son turned his nose up, but my 14 year old son had a go. He tries anything, including leaves!
Like a lot of above comments I also have only eaten it once at a friends when I was a kid.Got one yesterday and was gonna just stick in a pan without chopping down and thanks for the garlic tip.I hope my lady likes as shes just gone veggie and this will widen her foods to eat :)
The only dip I have ever had: Apple Cider Vinegar! Yum!
I grew up in france and the sauce we used to eat them with was the traditional sauce used everywhere and by far the nicest. It was creme fraiche with a little salt and pepper and red wine viniger. Its so simple but so uterly georgeous! We also use the same sauce for mixing in with diced cucumber. Try it, you won’t be dissapointed.
I come from Naples, Italy…. and here is another recipe that you might like also
“Carciofi dorati e fritti”
(Fried golden brown Heartchokes)
Clean the heartchokes as you would when they get boiled, but also clean every bit of the hard tops and sides (peel off the hard skin or flash off the stems, which is also edible) than place the knife halfway through the body and cut the tops all off togheter cut the leaves in half (toss the nidleey leaves parts (the tips that is…leave the tender part) than cut it in a half longways than cut it again until you have 8 pcs. take the small fuzzy part out, than blanch them in salted water for about 2 minutes.they will turn a pretty green…
drain, heat some olive oil in a frying pan , roll the pieces in flower first than egg/s (wisked,w/ salt and pepper of course) fry til golden/brown, place them on paper towels and drizzle with seasalt and pepper…MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!Delicious!!
When you have blanched the heartchoke & drained as above prepare with some extra vergin olive oil in a pan toss the drained heartchokes (no flower or egg, this time) and place them into the heated pan add capers and greek olive without the seeds, salt pepper and italian parsley cook til tender 25/35 minutes …put on italian bread and mangia.. delicoius….
I hope that you like it..
Buon appetito per i buon gustai…Ciao!
Perfect! Thanks for the tutorial!
Totally perfect! We were such gluttons tonight, followed your directions and had an artichoke each for dinner! Lovely! This link was perfect to learn just what we needed to know :)
Thanks, needed the timing as I only cook ‘chokes once a year.
I recently had one that was cooked in a crawfish boil while at a Cajun wedding in LA. I will never cook it any other way. Cook like a crawfish – shrimp/crab boil spices (think Kary’s makes them), lemon, garlic…unbelieveable good.
For a dipping sauce my fiance uses melted butter and mayo. I know, how fattening right? But wow what a flavor. I kind of like them plain but that’s because I try to avoid fat whenever possible.
Thanks for the tips!!
After reading the comments about how scraping on the top teeth, or the bottom teeth is better, I decided to try both.
I think this is a personal taste thing. Each of us has taste buds that are more or less functioning, which is why some prefer sweet and others salt.
I personally like to use my bottom teeth, so that the dip or mayo goes towards the back of the tongue, while the artichoke leave is more on the front of the tongue. It’s like a sensory experience.
It might also depend on each persons different tooth setup, some have stronger lower teeth, and others top teeth.
It’s all so personal, that I don’t think one way is the “right” way.
WOW, growing up Italian, my artichokes were always baked with the bread crumbs. I don’t remember when, sometime in high school, started making hollandaise sauce for dipping. Never heard of the mayo idea. Sounds awfully processed. Keep it natural and go to the true butter based and home made sauces. Artichokes deserve the best!
Great article! It briefly alludes to using a pressure cooker. I’d endorse this method. It’s convenient always produces a great artichoke but in my experience 20 minutes is way too long. The average home use pressure cooker would disintegrate a medium sized artichoke in that amount of time.
– 9-10 minutes for a Small-Medium Artichokes
– 10-13 for larger ones.
Cook much longer and you’ll just have artichoke mush.
Thanks for the wonderful tips on cooking artichokes. I was first introduced to artichokes in Italy, where I ate carciofo crudo, or raw artichoke. Eaten exactly the same way as your recipe, with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper mixed to dip it in. Amazing!
I love to eat these, but find it funny that so many people want to taste garlic and other things when eating artichokes! I just want to taste the ‘choke, myself. I love eating them plain, or with a little mayo. Pretty much the only thing I like mayo with, acutally :p
I absolutely love to eat artichokes this way. I always find the cooking time a little tricky. Seems like it always takes 45 minutes of time. I like to make a dip with mayo, lemon juice and curry powder. Yum!
The dip I grew up with was mayo or melted butter with fresh (or dried) tarragon chopped into it. YUM!
My mum stuffs them with a mixture of fresh bread crumbs, garlic and tuna fish. You can add capers too if you wish.
She also makes “polpetti” out of them by scraping the leaves (extremely delicious but very time consuming).
I was picking my artichokes at the store, when a little lady said “for your dip try this
just “mayo and curry powder mix well” simple she said.
Well I tried it “amazing.” my normal dip is lemon & mayo, but this was a tasty change.
I stuff the artichoke with Italian breadcrumbs, pepper, garlic salt and lots of parmesan cheese, mix in blender and stuff drizzle olive oil and shake some pepper. add peppercorns in water.
on the bottom of the artichoke cut a deep x on the bottom before stuffing, cooks the heart better. Then stick of butter 40 second zap makes a great dip for the cheesy crumbs
Thank you so much for mentioning the pressure cooker. My mom has been making artichokes like this for years and I always wonder why no one else suggested it.
I don’t have a pressure cooker but, as usual, your post explains how to cook an artichoke so easily that I can barely wait to get to the store tomorrow. :)
Just made it for Dinner!! It was Great the garlic gives it a nice touch.
I am a CA native living in Peru in the Cusco area. I recently purchased some local artichokes and was really excited to try them, as its been a few years since having one, but to my surprise, it took well over 4 hours for the chokes to be ready and even then they were not as soft as I would of liked, but I could not wait any longer. I think presure cooker is the asnwer, to compensate for the altitude.
Thank you for this. I wasn’t raised eating artichokes, but I love them on pizza, and today I bought some fresh artichokes at the grocery store on a whim. Then I came home and looked at them, and … well, I looked at them. Now I know what to do, and I’m excited to try it tomorrow for dinner; I’ll try steaming them while I cook rice in the rice cooker. Thanks again!
My favorite dip is half part mayo and half sour cream (I like a bit more sour cream) and lemon juice. Mmmm.
Muchas gracias por la informacion, no tenia idea de como prepararla ni como se comia, y gracias a uds. prepare una y me encanto. y a mis ninas tambien.
I am amazed that with all the different types of cooking and eating an artichoke, no one ever mentions cardoons (or cardoonies, as grandma use to call them). The celery type leaves she would take off and cut them in small pieces, boil them until very tender. I am growing some now that I had to order. When tender dip in egg and flour and fry in olive oil. My grandmother was 14 and her husband was 18 when the US used to send boats to Sicily to recruit immigrants. Not like now. She grew everything out of her garden and lived to 102. (Scusie my Italian wording.)
Wow, it never even occured to me that there was any other way to do an artichoke or that others found it challenging or not worth the hassle! But I guess growing up in So. Cal. it’s just something we were raised eating. Your version is exactly how I’ve been doing it forever. Step by step, including trimming the tips of each leaf! I never tire of the artichoke!
Love your website! Been reading it for a long time. Your recipes are simple, basic, and easy to follow. Thanks!
Thanks for the info on ways of preparing artichokes; but really there is an extremely easy way of doing it. Cut off the base, put a couple ounces of water in a microwaveable bowl, add artichoke, squeeze juice of a lemon over bulb, sprinkle with olive oil, and a dash of oregano. Cook on high heat for 8-9 minutes. Remove, and serve with your choice of dipping sauces.
You know, I never realized some people didn’t know how to eat them! But then again, I grew up in the Central Valley… *sigh*… can’t find the same quality in WA state as I did at home. I miss those huge, heavy, thick leaved ‘chokes with tightly curled leaf tips. Most of the ones here are thin, or stick straight out, and are small. And expensive!
Thanks for helping out those who weren’t blessed when they were kids!
And, I love them with mayo, but I now tend to eat them plain, because they taste wonderful on their own! Low cal, full of fiber, and they take a while to eat, so you tend to get full and eat less other stuff overall!
Great photo-tutorial Elise! My husband ADORES artichokes and we often have them – he prefers vinagrette for a dip whereas I go for super-garlicky butter. Yum. In Rome a couple of weeks ago we had the weirdest artichokes I had ever seen. They were (I guess) cleaned and steamed, then by the looks of it squashed flat in a tortilla press or similar, and then deep-fried. This meant that you discarded nothing – even the toughest outer leaves were crispy and you just ate the whole thing with a kife and fork, savouring the soft and creamy heart. It was amazing and I must remember to post some photos.
Grilled artichokes can be wonderful.
After washing, cut artichokes lengthwise. With a small sharp knife remove the choke. If you’re careful it can be removed without making a mess.
Steam the halved artichokes for about 30 minutes until tender.
Remove from steamer and place the halves on a plate. Spray olive oil on each half, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place the artichoke halves face down on a preheated grill.
Grill until lightly browned. Enjoy ;)
This recepie is great and easy to follow. For a quick way to cook them I have always just rinsed them under water, trimmed the stem, wraped then in wax paper and microwaved them for 7 min. It is super easy and quick, plus they keep their great flavor. Try it, you might like it.
Hi Megan – as mentioned earlier in the comments, your taste buds are on your tongue, not on the roof of your mouth, so by turning the artichoke leaf upside down, you are getting more of the dipping sauce on your tongue where you can taste it better.
Of course, this works when you use mayo, which sticks well to the artichoke. If you use a dipping sauce that drips, or is crumbly, better to keep the petal facing up!
I just found this entry when looking for directions on how to eat an artichoke for someone who wanted to know. It was perfect!
My question: why turn the leaf upside down? I would think this would only be necessary if you didn’t have upper teeth! There is no way I would turn a leaf upside down when eating my grandma’s Italian stuffed artichokes because I would never chance having the stuffing fall off!
How fun! I saw some artichokes at the store today and bought them on a whim. My mom never made them, but when she went out of town,our fun babysitter always did and I haven’t had them since I was a kid. Your directions were so easy. I was very happy to stumble upon them as well. The artichokes are steaming away.. and I can’t wait to try them again! Thanks! :)
Here in Chile artichokes are a really common thing to eat, and I LOOOVE them, specially the “heart”. It isn’t really hard to eat them, and usually here people eat them with mayo or with a lemon-aceto dressing; I like both of the choices. Artichoke lasagna is pretty awesome too.
If you poke the garlic clove down the middle of the artichoke before cooking (pulls apart easily so you can do this), you get an increasingly wonderful garlicky flavor as you eat your way through the artichoke. Try a dip made from olive oil, lemon juice, pressed garlic (yes, more garlic), salt and pepper. If you use more lemon juice than oil, you have the advantage of a more healthful and flavorful dressing than those that are mayo-based.
I trim them up, making sure there is a flat bottom. I then put them in a glass/ceremic dish that will hold 2 of them, with a little water. I sprinkle with some lemon pepper and cover. I then put them in the microwave and cook for about 10 minutes depending on size. Then I eat them with a mayonise garlic mix. YUM. Yum. Yum.
Hi to all of you….In Italy the artychokes are a common vegetable to eat..especially on Easter break when we cook them on a BBQ…they are very good also cut in small slices and then fried in a pan with “olive oil”…and please forget the microwave thing!!!cook them in the traditional way it is better! Believe me!
Ciao a tutti!
I just had my first for the season yesterday. I also microwave mine. You follow the same directions, but cook in a microwave safe bowl covered with water, and lemon juice if you like. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high, small/8-10 minutes, large/12-16 minutes. And only Best Foods will do.
I hope you read this. I’ve been a fan or your website for over a year now and have never posted. I was delighted to see you take on the artichoke. I wonder if you’ve ever used a pressure cooker?
I know they are out of fashion but they are amazing gadgets. I’ve found that you can never can the tenderness you get with the pressure cooker from steaming an artichoke.
Place slivers of garlic liberally throughout the leaves.
Place in the bottom of the pressure cooker (preferably on a rack).
Pour olive oil liberally over the top of artichokes.
Add about an inch of water,.
Pressure for about 30 minutes.
Growing up, our favorite dip was either hollandaise or bearnaise sauce – YUM!!!!!! I highly recommend trying one of these – you can make them from packaged mixes – they are soooo good and much more indulgent and less greasy than mayo-based dips..
When I was in Tunisia we were server artichokes with a simple sauce of about 5 parts olive oil and 1 part mustard. It was amazing!
Hi Matt – I have never dripped the dip on my shirt eating the petal dip side down, but then, I use a pretty thick mayo based dip. One thing to remember is that your taste buds are on your tongue, not the roof of your mouth, so the sooner you get the dip and artichoke there, the better.
Awesome… this is making me lust for an artichoke. When I was a kid, my mom would cook artichokes every so once in a while, and our dipping sauce would be mayonnaise. This post has given me the courage to try it again, and upgrade the method and sauce a bit.
I am from Louisiana and we loved to eat them Stuffed. You stuff them with some italian bread crumbs and some parmasean cheese as well as whatever else you want. I have seen some people actually put fried shrimp and other fried seafood in it. Then you eat it like you have shown and dip it in a olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper mix. YUMMMM!
I love the lemon butter, but my dad also does a homemade herbed mayo that’s delish.
And, I’m sorry, but I must disagree – the best way to eat them is dip side up, scraping the pulp with your top teeth. That way the dip doesn’t drip on your shirt. (I also have my suspicions that people who do it dip side down also hang their toilet paper so it feeds from below the roll – totally wrong!) :)
It is even easier and better to do in a microwave oven:
Prepare the artichoke as above but after cleaning, place wet artichoke in a microwave save dish. Add around 2 TBL of lemon juice and/or a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. Feel free to try various flavors (wine, garlic, tarragon, balsamic, etc.). Exact measurements are not important. The idea is to create an acid environment to prevent discoloration and add flavor. You also may wish to add a tablespoon or two of water. Do not immerse or cover the artichoke with water. This is a steaming process. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on a vegetable ‘auto cook’ setting or around 10 minutes per artichoke, depending on the wattage of the microwave and the number/size of the artichokes. Let rest a couple of minutes, covered and then open up and check for doneness by poking the stem with a toothpick and/or pulling off a bottom leaf. It should be soft but not mushy. If not done, re-cover and cook some more. After a few artichokes you will get the ‘hang’ of it in respect to your microwave ovens output. I have an ‘Auto Cook’ on mine and ‘Auto Cook 4’ works fine for me.
Note: It will probably take you longer to read these instructions than to follow them in preparing the artichoke for microwave cooking. Here is the short form sparing the details:
Place choke in microwave container
Add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar
Iced artichoke tea anyone? If you’re boiling instead of steaming, clean the artichokes well. After the water boils, simmer until the artichokes are done. Add sugar to the leftover stock and chill for a refreshing drink.
THANK YOU for such great pics. For people like me who are trying to teach themselves how to cook, your recipes with pictures are GRRR-eat!
Hummus is another great dip for artichokes.
My grandmother would make it in a similar fashion. She’d stuff the artichokes though. Usually a mixture of parmesan cheese (little pieces), garlic and some onion. We’d never use dip.
I actually ate the whole leaf, thorns and all the first time I had an artichoke…I cringe in embarassment every time I think of it. The people who invited us over never corrected me and my husband was too busy eating to be of any help….and guess what happened that night? Yup, threw up….
Thank you so much for the help. I just moved to Italy for a few years and have bought fresh artichokes, but have been ruining them. Thank you so much for the clear explanations and pictures, I now know my family will enjoy them even more!!
I just had grilled artichokes yesterday that I bought at Whole Foods…halved and offered with lemon aioli. I put two halves on a pretty plate, sitting in front of a sunny window, it was the perfect Sunday lunch.
This is a GREAT Web site! As Shannon wrote I too have been eating artichoke since about age 4 or 5 and we did cook them considerably longer then the 45min. mentioned. We eat every little leaf including the ones covering the choke. When cooked longer the choke will release from the heart with just the back of a spoon and fall off intact. One thing not mentioned was bug’s. If after cleaning and cooking you find a few leaves with holes and possibly a small worm like well cooked critter not to worry, as my Dad would say it hasn’t eaten any thing different then we are eating just scrape it off and continue enjoying it. We use melted butter for dipping kept warm with one of those candle warmers.
I found this site out of desperation as for the last month we haven’t found any ARTICHOKES here in New Mexico and my mouth is watering.
Great info on cooking artichokes! I have been eating them since I was four. I tend to cook them longer so that by the middle leaves, it’s so tender, you can almost bite the whole leaf right off. Gets a lot more out of each leaf that way. I also do not trim the ends, as it loses some of the grip. Plain melted butter with a little salt for me :)
One thing I found interesting was what you put in the water! I have always used about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to take out some of the bitterness. Never thought of a bay leaf.
Thanks heaps for the advice. Had an Arti about 25 years ago and it was a nice flavour. Gotta laugh though, we didn’t know how to cook it, so we roasted it for about 45 mins in a hot oven. Sooooooo much better the way you guys do it!!! Lol. Not very well known here in Australia. You see a fair few of them around, but, when I ask around, nobody seems to know much about them. Hell, I’m a convert, they’re absolutely delicious, and so much better when they’re done right. Just finishing off a couple now !!! Thanks a lot and I look forward to trying out the various dips, sauces, stuffings and cooking methods.
These were both my daughter’s favorite vegetable growing up …another quick fix for artichokes is to clean them as stated, except leave the stem on and just peel it some, it’s as tasty as the heart… wrap them in plastic wrap and then micro them for about 8-10 minutes, check a leaf to see if it pulls easy … the wrap keeps the moisture in. We like lemon butter for a dip.
Thank you so much for taking away a little of the tension about cooking fresh artichokes. When I brought it to the register, the clerk didnt even know what it was!!! Also I saw a lot of recipes for the canned or frozen artichokes, but fresh is always best. I will throw out the artichoke I have already ruined and head over to Whole foods for a fresh one! I thank everyone sharing their ideas. I will try it with a dip first and then graduate to the stuffed artichoke.
Thanks for your help, I’m cooking one right now and your step by step info really helped me.
I just came back from Rome (where I lived for 5 years). Their Artichoke can be cooked and eaten in it’s entirety. Of course these Artichokes are only in season during late fall. The tail is the best part. Everything is cooked with the artichokes, Pasta, seafood, meats. The Artichokes are sweeter than ours and the preparation is fairly simple. Usually garlic cloves, olive oil and fresh mint. I was told by a restauranteur in Rome that even our Artichokes can be cooked so that all the meat is easily edible. Mashing it to bits was supposedly the way. I tried it and don’t think I was too successful. Even though the taste was good it was still like chewing gum. Maybe I should have steamed it before I mashed it. Any ideas?
I have a friend whom we introduced to artichokes. He loved them. In fact he was the first one done. When he was through with the leaves he promptly picked up what was left, including the heart and proceded to throw it away. of cource us seasoned artichoke eaters screamed “what are you doing?”. We had failed to tell him about the heart. He learned quick, Dave
I always thought I was a genius for figuring out the bay leaf connection. Let me add this, as a California native–use a fresh leaf from a California Laurel tree if you have on in your vicinity, or at least use a fresh bay leaf. It makes a HUGE difference.
I’m obsessed with artichokes, and I eat them like you do, except I’m too lazy to cut the points off, and I dip in either lemon butter, or just lemon. There’s an acid in artichokes that makes liquids taste sweet, so when I was a kid, I’d always drink milk after… it was the only time I enjoyed drinking milk. Great post!
My Sicilian grandmother used to stuff like two others have already mentioned, and they were delicious. I just never watched her cook them, so I now know how to do that. Thank you!
I grew up eating artichokes my dad used to grow them in our garden. My favorite dipping sauce is Hollandaise sauce with a little lemon.
That’s exacly how my mama always used to make ’em for us. They’re still a favorite now. I recently tried mixing mayo with garlic salt and it was an excellent twist to plain mayo.
a note on picking chokes: yes, tight big ones are great but even if they’re not perfect they still taste wonderful. i havent found a bad choke even when they’re at the ends of the season.
I like putting my chokes in the microwave.. Just wrap in saran wrap and it’s approx 4 min per.
As for dip: mayo, lemon juice and fresh ground pepper. just mix to taste. YUM!!
that is soooo helpful! i cannot tell you how many restaurants need to read this helpful tutorial on cooking arties. i am always getting the thorns in my gums and cheeks because they don’t cut enough off! thanks :) now, how do you fry them?
This is in reply to: Posted by: Elna Smith at February 23, 2006 06:21 AM Any suggestions on how to choose an artichoke when I’m in the grocery store?
Elna – the funny thing about choosing an artichoke is that you don’t want to go for the pretty ones. Frostbitten artichokes are better than the rest! So when you’re shopping look for these qualities in your artichoke:
– Frostbite! The leaves aren’t perfect, they may be even flaking a little on discoloured spots
– The leaves aren’t tightly closed, but aren’t flaying way open either, find a nice middle ground in the selection available
– Size – they come in all sizes, some areas have more variety, but really, the only thing size determines is how much meat you get from each artichoke
Your piece gave me a springboard to write a ‘Bretton’s take on artichokes.
I grew up on them ans still eat them regularly.
You can eat the whole cooked portion if you cut about 1.5 inches off the tip and (after other steps) cut them in half and scoop out the choke and really tiny inner leaves before cooking. When a leaf pulls off easily, they are done.
After steaming, you can grill them quickly with a little olive oil. Yummy!
My oh my, how gratifying it is to see so many fellow artichoke lovers out there!
My mom told me a funny story tonight. She first cooked artichokes when it was requested of her when she was babysitting during college. The mother would bring home artichokes for mom to cook for the woman’s kids. This went on for some time and finally my mom mentioned that it didn’t seem to be a lot of food. The mother replied, “Why? You’ve got the leaves and the heart, that’s enough for the kids.” “The heart?” my mom replied, “what heart?” She had been throwing them out, and just feeding the kids the leaves! She still shakes her head over this one…
Squeezing a bit of lemon juice into the water when you steam the artichokes keeps the artichoke the fresh green color (if you do not put lemon juice in the artichoke will darken).
Steph, thank you for the dip recipe as well; my friends and I were recently looking for just such a recipe after devouring a small bowl of it at a pub.
Elise, this is a beautiful site. My gmail gives me RSS feeds that links here, so I have a tendency to drool at work between breaks.
Yummy. I cannot get my boyfriend to eat these. And everyone I ever new got sick when I told them I dip it in mayo. Just a tiny little bit on the end give it that nice tang. Oooh! I know what i want for dinner.
I love the note on how to pick them out. I always just grabbed which ever one had the least amount of brown. And a corn on the cob and artichoke dinner sounds divine and I bet it is surprisingly filling.
Local produce mkt advised best way to pick an artichoke: Pick up the artichoke and give it a gentle squeeze…it will “squeak” if fresh. Pick out a large one with tight leaves. As they “age” and start to dry out, the leaves begin to open. Avoid those if you can. As with all veggies…the fresher the better.
My favorite Spinach Artichoke recipe (I’ve had to give this out to anyone who’s ever tasted it):
2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
2 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
2 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350
Lightly grease a small baking dish.
IN a seperate bowl mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, basil, garlic salt, salt and pepper.
Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.
I altered a couple things. For the Parm and Romano cheeses, I just used a 5 cheese blend that was a lot cheaper than buying the 2 separately and I also used that on top instead of mozzarella. Also, I used a *lot* less than a cup of spinach, I just put a couple forkfuls in there!
Gosh, i always thought fresh artichokes were just not worth the hassle….but as it turns out, they arent much of a hassle!
Just to add, my housemate has a brilliant way of cooking artichoke hearts (tho she uses frozen ones). She fills them with a mixture of minced lamb, cooked with onions, tomatoes and parsley, and then places them in a closed frying pan with about an inch of water or shallow fries them (depending on how fat she’s feeling!)….they’re delicious!
I come from a large Italian family and have been eating artichokes all my life, but only one way…stuffed! Family generations before me would make a stuffing of mostly Italian breadcrumbs, TONS of garlic (minced, of course), grated parmesan cheese, salt and lots of pepper…oh, and the nectar of the gods – OLIVE OIL…lots lots! Each leaf on the artichoke is stuffed with this delicious mixture, then placed in a large dutch oven to steam. No need for dipping into anything. I like to squirt lemon juice on them just before devouring!!!
I usually eat artichokes. Last week I’ve teached how to eat them to my boyfriend :o)
But I’ve shown him also your lesson that is very useful!
My (Italian) family always stuffs the artichokes. The stuffing is a mixture of bread crumbs, romano cheese, pine nuts, garlic, black pepper, and olive oil. After cutting the artichoke as you’ve shown, you place this mixture in between as many leaves as practical. We cut the bottom flush and sit the ‘choke right in the water for steaming. You eat it the same way, except that rather than dipping you just enjoy the stuffing as you scrape it off along with the meat.
Best advice I ever heard on artichokes: convince all children in the household that the part under the hairy core is “yucky”. Clear away dishes and eat the hearts silently in the kitchen. Bon appetit!
I agree with you Kim, but I’m thinking let’s tell everybody at the table that it’s bad and enjoy ALL of the hearts. MMMMMM MMMMMM!
We eat artichokes as a light dinner or a snack often. My favorite sauce is the butter-and-lemon that one person mentioned, but sometimes I’ll use Annie’s red wine vinaigrette. My husband loves to make a sauce with mayo, worcestershire sauce, and a super-hot Jamaican hot sauce that he swears by. The other day I discovered a new combination — artichoke with leftover raita from Indian takeout. Yum.
When we were growing up in Southern California, my mom would trim off some of the base, remove some of the petals around the base but would not cut off parts of each petal. To me, it seems like cutting off parts of the petal removes some of the area to grip the petals when eating.
Any suggestions on how to choose an artichoke when I’m in the grocery store?
Yes, choose artichokes that have petals that are still rather closed. The more open the leaves (actually petals) are, the older. Also artichokes that appear to be a little damaged by frost are the tastiest. The grocers have caught on to this though, and usually sell “frost-kissed” artichokes at a premium. In my opinion, they’re worth it.
I do almost the exact same thing with my artichokes except I never trim the tops. It’s the way I was taught by my Aunt Georgia in Santa Rosa when I visited her there as a kid.
And we almost always dip in lemon butter, as if the artichoke was a green leafy lobster.
When I was roommates with Meg from our site, fresh summer corn on the cob and artichokes was a common summer dinner.
Thank you for this beautifully illustrated, clear explanation. I love the step by step photos. It must have cost you a lot of time and effort to put this description together.
This is the way I was brought up to eat artichokes (in France). What about recipes that call for artichoke hearts? I guess that’s more Italian in inspiration, are these smaller artichokes, are they prepared differently?
Two quick comments…one, as you eat an artichoke, there comes a point of diminishing returns with the petals, where they are very thin and spiky, but not quite “the choke” yet. The eater may choose to pull these off and discard them.
Also, instead of covering the pot while cooking the artichoke, you will avoid some bitterness and also avoid that drab brownish green color if you upturn a vegetable steamer (it’s sort of shaped like a flower and usually goes under the vegetables in a pot) and put it over the artichokes, and weight it down with a clean rock or a clean piece of brick, to keep the artichokes submerged. This allows the gasses to escape, and the artichoke will taste better and look better!
My mom used to make a lovely dip for artichokes which was melted butter into which she’d squeeze anchovy paste from a tube (you could mash in whole anchovies till really pulverized, but the paste is so easy). I think she put a bit of vinegar as well to offset the richness of the butter–pungent and delicious! I’m off to the artichoke store!
Just wanted to add:
A tasty and absolutely professional sauce for dipping your artichokes can be made in very little time.
I like to make one that is a combination of melted butter and real lemon juice. Adjust the ratio to your own tastes. First melt the butter on lower heat in your microwave and then add lemon juice to taste.
Another is Mayonaise based. I put a few tablespoons of mayo in a bowl and add whatever suits. Usually it’s a bit of mustard (Dijon or whole grain) some garlic or garlic powder amd other spices. Sometimes a teaspoon of ketchup makes it in too.
It’s really the fat in the mayonaise and butter that seems to make the texture/taste work so many other sauces should also be good.
Dip suggestion! My father always used to make a variety of dips, but the favorite BY FAR was always garlic butter.
Soften butter (but don’t melt it) and mix in some garlic salt to taste. A hot artichoke leaf will melt it just a little when you scoop the butter onto it, and it’s just perfect.
I’ve taken to mashing roasted garlic into my butter and getting the same taste (but better, of course).
Mine are steaming right now! Thanks for the extremely helpful info. I visited a few other sites previously, none of which helped. Like the others, I first had an artichoke at a friend’s and really enjoyed it. It’s been over ten years, and it’s fun to try it again. Thanks.
Thank you thank you thank you! I used to eat these when I was a kid and haven’t had one for years. I just bought one and you told me exactly what I needed to know. Thanks!
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