How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

how to cook artichokes

Have you ever picked up an artichoke at the market and then wondered how to cook it? Well, then you’re not alone. A lot of people are still unaware of how to cook artichokes. In fact, some people don’t even know what they are! Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Is it some kind of animal? Well, it’s not really any of those.

Then what is an artichoke? Well, an artichoke is actually the bud of a thistle (flower) that’s cultivated as food. There are leaves known as bracts which cover a very fuzzy center that’s called the “choke”. The heart of it is totally edible. It’s quite delicious as well. The fuzzy part called choke is way too fibrous to eat in regular artichokes. However, it is quite edible when it comes to baby artichokes. Only the inner leaves of it are soft enough to pull away by teeth and eat the tender parts of the artichoke. The rest of the artichoke is quite tough.

Learn How To Cook Artichokes The Right Way With These Best Artichoke Recipes!

So, still wondering how to cook artichokes? While you can look up the best artichoke recipes online, they can still be quite tricky to cook – especially if you haven’t dabbled in it before. Simply put, the artichoke can be quite intimidating for anyone attempting to cook it for the first time. But here are a few pointers to help you cook this seemingly challenging eatable the right way.

How To Properly Cook An Artichoke

Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to cook artichokes. You can boil them, braise them or bake them after stuffing them. Any of these ways will enable you to enjoy a delicious mouthful of artichokes. That being said, one of the easiest ways when deciding how to cook artichokes is to steam them. This is because when you boil an artichoke, it may sometimes tend to become waterlogged. Steaming artichokes will ensure that they cook with the perfect amount of moisture in them.

There is an easy method to follow if you’re going to steam artichokes. Once you’re ready with the water you need to steam the artichoke, you can add a couple of things in it. For instance, you can put in bay leaves, a slice of lemon, and some garlic into the water. This will cause the extra flavor to be infused into the artichokes.

Also, remember that when you steam artichokes, you can do it either over the stove or in the pressure cooker. The artichoke will cook much faster in a pressure cooker. However, you will have less control over the outcome and it can be pretty easy to overcook them. So, when cooking artichokes for the first time, you may want to stick to doing them over the stove.

How To Buy Artichokes

Before we can look at how to cook artichokes using the best recipes, you need to know what kind to buy. This can be a tricky process if you have little or no experience with artichokes. We’ve made it much simpler for you by listing some of the things you need to keep in mind when buying artichokes. Trust us, follow these steps and you won’t end up with bad quality (yes, they exist) artichokes. Take a quick look below!

  • Pick artichokes that seem heavy when you’re lifting them. Light artichokes will most probably be dried out on the inside and you won’t find much meaty portions in it. So, beware of buying light-weight artichokes.
  • The leaves of the artichoke must be closed with just a bit of separation. They must not be flayed wide open. The reason this is important is that artichokes are literally flower buds and the leaves must open as the bud ages. If the leaves on an artichoke are wide open, it indicates that the bud is on the older side. It won’t be that delicious so don’t pick it. Also, it will be difficult to cook.
  • You should hear the leaves “squeak” when you press them. For all the reasons mentioned in the point above, when the leaves of an artichoke make a squeaking sound, it is an indicator that they are fresh. You won’t need to scratch your head too hard about how to cook artichokes that are fresh.
  • If it looks frost-burnt, then it’s a good artichoke to buy. These are perfectly fresh artichokes to buy and, in fact, can turn out to be a lot more delicious than ones that don’t seem to have been burned because of frost. For this reason, many times such frost-burnt artichokes command a high price.
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How To Eat An Artichoke

Before we move on to how to cook artichokes the perfect way, let’s discuss how to eat these delicious buds the right way. No matter how you prepare them and how many best artichoke recipes you go through to do so, there is a right way to eat artichokes. Remember, they are best served with a delicious dip. Check out the following steps to know how to properly eat an artichoke.

Take the leaves off

The first thing you must do when eating an artichoke is to peel off its leaves one by one. The fleshy, white end of the leaf must then be dipped in whatever delicious sauce or vinaigrette you decided to serve your artichokes with.

Place the dipped part of the leaf in your mouth

Hold the other end of the leaf tightly and place the dipped end of the artichoke leaf in your mouth. Then, lightly with your teeth, scrape off the soft and delicious part of the artichoke leaf. Repeat the process with all the remaining artichoke leaves.

Scrape off the fuzzy part of the artichoke

Use a spoon or a knife to scrape the fuzzy part of the artichoke and discard it as this portion is inedible. It is what covers the artichoke heart.

Make pieces of the now-exposed artichoke heart

The heart of the artichoke is now exposed and you can use a knife to cut it into pieces before eating it. You can use a dip of your choice – be it a vinaigrette, a sauce, mayonnaise, or melted butter.

That’s how to cook artichokes and eat them! Now let’s look at some of the best artichoke recipes that you can use to make your dish a lip-smacking one.

Best Artichoke Recipes To Follow

Most of us who wonder how to cook artichokes will go online to look for the best artichoke recipes. It will come as no surprise that there are scores of artichoke recipes out there each special in its own way. Also, unsurprisingly, there are a million different ways to cook artichokes! Okay, maybe not a million but many, nonetheless. So, to help you out when cooking artichokes for the first time, we’ve listed the simplest and best artichoke recipes around. Take a look at them below!

Recipe 1: How To Make Roasted Artichokes

One of the simplest and most delicious ways to make artichokes is to roast them. The best part is that you only need a few ingredients to make this dish.

Ingredients for the dish:
  • Fresh artichokes of any variety. Remember, we’ve already covered how to buy them!
  • Garlic – take as much as you can handle.
  • Fresh lemons.
  • Melted butter or olive oil, your choice.
  • Fresh herbs to add that zing to your dish.
  • Black pepper and sea salt – freshly ground, of course.
Method to prepare:

Step 1: Prep the fresh artichokes and get them ready to cook. You need to trim the top 1 inch of the artichoke and chop off the bottom of the stem as well. Discard the leaves at the bottom of the stem and trim the pointy ends of the leaves. Cut the artichokes down the middle and hollow out the chokes of both sides using a spoon or a knife. Rub the artichoke halves entirely using a lemon wedge.

Step 2: Carefully brush the artichokes with melted butter or olive oil. Now, place them cut-side up on a baking tray or sheet.

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Step 3: Place the fresh herbs and garlic into the cavities of the artichokes. Pack as much into them as you can and then season with black pepper and sea salt.

Step 4: Flip the artichokes over and brush them yet again with melted butter or olive oil. Season with black pepper and sea salt.

Step 5: Now roast them! Roast them open for the first 10 minutes and then put a foil over them. This is how to cook artichokes a bit juicy as they will retain some of the moisture.

Step 6: Once the artichokes are out of the oven, discard the fillings or throw them in your dipping sauce. Add a bit of lemon to the artichokes and dig in!

Recipe 2: How To Steam Artichokes

For those wondering how to cook artichokes by steaming them, fret not as the process is a pretty simple one.

Ingredients for the dish:
  • 1 or as many large globe artichokes as you want.
  • 1 or 2 Bay leaves.
  • 2 Garlic cloves halved. Leave the skin on.
  • 1 Lemon slice.
Method to prepare:

Step 1: Prep the artichoke and get it ready for the cooking process. You can use the same method discussed in the previous recipe (See step 1 of Recipe 1).

Step 2: Use cold water to gently rinse the artichokes. Make sure to open the leaves a bit so that water goes inside of the artichoke. This is an important step in learning how to cook artichokes the right way.

Step 3: Prep a pot with some water, a few aromatics, and a steaming basket. Get a large pot and fill it with some water. Add the bay leaves, lemon slice, and garlic into the water. Put in the steaming basket.

Step 4: Place the artichokes into the steaming basket and cover them with a foil. Once the water comes to a boil, put the heat on low and let it cook for about 25 to 30 minutes. You can take it off once you see that the leaves of the artichokes can be pulled off easily.

[Note: You can also use a pressure cooker to cook artichokes. However, the time it takes will differ depending on the size and quality of the artichoke. Also, it can be easy to overcook them in a pressure cooker and they may end up soggy.]

Dipping sauce suggestions for the artichoke dish

Once you’re done with how to cook artichokes the right way using the best artichoke recipes around, you need to think about what kind of dip you want to serve with the dish. There are a bunch of amazing options you can consider when it comes to dipping sauces for artichoke dishes. Here are a few of the most popular choices listed below:

  • Mayonnaise or Aioli: This is arguably the most popular artichoke dish and a win-win no matter what kind of recipe you use!
  • Tzatziki Sauce: If you want a Mediterranean twist to your artichoke dish, this is the best bet.
  • Melted Butter Sauce: Add a bit of lemon, pepper, and salt to this and you go on a trip to food heaven!
  • Pesto: For an incredibly rich taste to your delicious artichoke dish, this is the best dipping sauce. You can add Greek yoghurt to make this a lot more flavorful.
  • Hollandaise Sauce: For that international and classy twist to your artichoke dish, this the best bet.

There you go! Now you’ve learnt how to cook artichokes the perfect way. You also have two of the best artichoke recipes to show you how. Pick whichever recipe you find easier for you and jump in! Remember, while artichokes may be intimidating at first, they are pretty easy to cook – all you need is practice. If you found this article useful, please share it with other cooking enthusiasts you know! Spread the news learning how to cook artichokes is a piece of cake!

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Summary

Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to cook artichokes. You can boil them, braise them or bake them after stuffing them. Any of these ways will enable you to enjoy a delicious mouthful of artichokes.

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