How to Cook an Artichoke (4 Ways)

How to buy, store, and cook artichokes perfectly, whether you are boiling or steaming them. Plus how to prepare artichokes.

Artichokes are thought to be one of the world’s oldest foods. However, they are not an easy vegetable to prepare and require a bit of work to get to the tasty part. But worth it!

The outer leaves, called bracts, are tough and have a thorny tip. Then there is the veggie’s beard: the choke. A hairy center that sits on top of the heart, and under the heart is the stem. The heart being the meatiest part.

What is an Artichoke?

So what is an artichoke, anyway? It’s the immature flower bud of a thistle that is eaten as, and classified as, a vegetable. The bud is simply harvested before it blossoms. Once they bloom, they are no longer good to eat.

That said, they are gorgeous when they do bloom.

Virtually all artichokes grown in the U.S. come from California, like pretty much everything in America. We simply grow a lot of food. California grows more than 400 different commodities, growing more than a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts.

How to Cook an Artichoke

You have a few options for cooking an artichoke. You can steam them, boil them, grill them, and even stuff them. But if you just want the heart of the vegetable, here are the key factors for preparing an artichoke.

How to Prep an Artichoke

If you’re just after the heart, which kinda makes you sound like a vampire slayer, then there are a few things to consider. You’re going to have to do some work. Plus, they oxidize quickly, so you might want some lemon water on hand to brush the veggie with as you prep.

Trim off about ½ inch from the top of the veggie and then cut off the stem, so it sits upright. Remove any tough leaves around the base. Using kitchen shears, trim off any remaining thorny tips. Separate the leaves and then scoop out the furry choke.

You should be left with the heart. BT-dubs, the stem is also edible and quite tasty. So don’t toss that out. Just peel it and cook it also.

There are a variety of ways to cook artichokes.

How to Boil Artichokes

  1. Trim off the top and stem.
  2. Cut off any remaining thorny tips.
  3. Bring water to a boil and salt to taste.
  4. Add artichoke to water and cover.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. When you can easily remove an outer leaf, it is done!
  7. Drain upside down before serving.

How to Steam Artichokes

  1. Trim off the top and stem.
  2. Cut off any remaining thorny tips.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Place steamer basket in pot.
  6. Add water. Do not exceed steamer basket.
  7. Add artichoke and cover.
  8. Cook on medium high for 20 minutes.
  9. When you can easily remove an outer leaf, it is done!

How to Braise Artichokes

  1. Trim off tops and stems.
  2. Cut lengthwise.
  3. Cut out chokes.
  4. Warm olive oil in a deep skillet.
  5. Place artichokes cut side down until browned.
  6. Add broth. It should be halfway up the artichoke.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil then to a simmer and cover.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Check every 5 minutes that all liquid has not cooked off.
  10. When a knife easily can pierce the heart, they are done.How to Bake Artichokes

How to Bake Artichokes

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Trim off tops and stems.
  3. Place chokes in deep baking dish.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Cover baking sheet with foil.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, until heart can be pierced with a knife.

How to Eat an Artichoke

When properly cooked, the petals easily pull off. Now, don’t eat the whole leaf though. Just the slightly meaty edge near the base of the leaves is edible. Basically, where it detached from the body of the artichoke.
As you get closer to the center, the leaves will get more and more tender. When you reach the hairy center, do not eat that either! It can literally choke you. Remove all that fuzz and what remains is the heart. The part you worked so hard for!

How to Buy Artichokes

Choose fresh artichokes that are heavy for their size with a stem that is a few inches long; otherwise, the heart could be dried out. The leaves should be tightly packed and a healthy green color. Some browning is ok. Even a little whiteness is ok.How to

Store Artichokes

Trim the end of the stem. Stand artichokes in a shallow container of water such that only the stem is covered. Place in the fridge. You can also just sprinkle the artichoke stems with water to keep them hydrated and keep them in a closed bag in the fridge. Either way, they should be enjoyed in 2-3 days.

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