3 Simple Ways to Prepare, Cook, and Eat Artichokes

3 Simple Ways to Prepare, Cook, and Eat Artichokes

Artichokes are nutritious globe-shaped thistles that can look intimidating at first. But, with the right know-how, you can prep, cook, and enjoy artichokes with ease!

Why eat artichokes? For starters, they’re higher in protein than most other veggies. Brittany Crump, MPH, RD at Savor Nutrition, adds, “Artichokes are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and contain a good amount of fiber. They also provide minerals like potassium and magnesium.”

In case you’re curious, no part of the artichoke is poisonous. You have to remove the hairy choke at the center and thorns on the artichoke’s outer leaves — these can be choking hazards.

The easiest way to cook an artichoke is either boiling or steaming. We’ll give step-by-step instructions for each cooking method. And if you prefer the oven, we’ll also provide baking instructions.

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How to Prep Artichokes

Prepping artichokes can feel wasteful because you do throw out a lot of the plant. But, rest assured that you only remove what you can’t eat. Most of the artichoke meat is where the leaves connect to the base.

Prepping an artichoke is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Snip the thorny tips off the outer leaves with kitchen scissors.
  2. Slice ½ to 1 inch off the top with a knife to expose the fuzzy artichoke center.
  3. Slice off the stem at the base so the artichoke can sit up straight during cooking.

Pro Tip: If you can’t cook artichokes soon after prep, rub lemon juice onto the artichoke’s cut surface to keep them from going brown.

 

1. How to Boil Artichokes

artichokes in water with lemon | how to cook artichokes

To boil artichokes, you’ll need a large pot with a lid, salt, and a pair of tongs.

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add artichokes and cover the pot (Quick tip: Artichokes will float, so it may help to put another small pot lid on top of the artichokes to keep them submerged.)
  3. Let artichokes cook at a high simmer for 30 to 35 minutes. Time will vary based on artichoke size.
  4. Check doneness by tugging at a large leaf. If it’s easy to pull off, it’s ready.
  5. Drain the artichokes and let them cool before serving.

 

2. How to Steam Artichokes

artichokes in steamer | how to cook artichokes

To steam artichokes, you’ll need a large pot with a lid, steamer basket, salt, and a pair of tongs.

  1. Add water into the pot, making sure it doesn’t go above the steamer basket.
  2. Place artichokes into the steamer basket. Sprinkle the artichoke with salt, and cover the pot.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat, letting the artichokes steam for 30-35 minutes.
  4. Drain the artichokes and let them cool before serving.

 

3. How to Bake Artichokes

artichokes on baking tray | how to cook artichokes

To bake artichokes, you’ll need aluminum foil, salt, olive oil, and oven mitts.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt over the top of the artichokes (Quick Tip: For more flavor, you can stuff herbs, spices, or chopped garlic in between the artichoke leaves).
  3. Completely wrap the artichokes in two layers of aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  5. Let artichokes cool before serving.

 

How to Remove the Artichoke Heart

artichoke hearts in a bowl | how to cook artichokes

The artichoke’s tender heart is at the base, and it’s entirely edible. Once you’ve enjoyed the tender artichoke leaves, you’ll naturally expose the artichoke heart. To reveal the heart:

  • Scoop out the “choke,” or fuzzy, inedible bristle at the center.
  • Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the choke.
  • Slice the artichoke heart and eat on the spot or save it to top pizza, pasta, or salad.

If the artichoke hearts are too tempting to save up for another recipe, Brittany advises, “As a busy mom, I also love to use canned or frozen whole artichoke hearts to save on time. I use them on homemade pizza to boost vegetable intake. For frozen artichokes, pat dry before using.”

 

How To Eat Artichokes

Serve your cooked artichokes hot or cold. They’re a great party appetizer that’s easy to share among guests. To eat, simply pull off the outer leaves one at a time. Dip each leaf into your sauce of choice, and use your teeth to scrape off the soft, fleshy meat.

For a fancier appetizer, make bruschetta out of marinated artichoke hearts! Take toasted baguette slices, rub with garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and top with sliced artichoke and cheese.

 

Best Sauces To Eat With Artichokes

You can eat artichokes plain or lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. To add more flavor, try serving artichokes with a creamy sauce like aioli, pesto, or herbed yogurt dipping sauce. According to Brittany, “you can make a sauce using Greek yogurt, which is a good source of protein. Just mix ½ cup plain yogurt with juice from half a lemon. Then, season with salt, pepper, and fresh chopped parsley. Dip and enjoy!”

Other ideas for enjoying artichokes alongside scrumptious sauces:

Trinh Le

About

Trinh is a registered dietitian by day, blogger at Fearless Food by night. She loves helping folks develop a better relationship with food, which includes lots of cooking, eating and learning about nutrition. When she’s not snapping mouthwatering shots of (mostly) healthy food, you can find Trinh HIIT-ing it at her local gym. Follow her on Twitter.