Prep and Eat a Whole Artichoke: No Cans or Jars Required
Learn how to cook and eat an artichoke to perfection with these tips!
You may love artichokes, but how often do you prepare and cook them yourself? They come in a rough package with their tough outer leaves,and demand seemingly exhaustive preparation. But, au contraire! Whole artichokes are actually super easy to work with and something you should do on a regular basis, especially while they’re in season! Learn how to cook and eat an artichoke in an approachable way without resorting to the canned alternative.
How to Cook an Artichoke
- Cut off the tips of the petals, where thorns may be. This step is optional, because when cooked, the thorns soften. But, for aesthetic purposes, it’s important.
- Slice about 1 inch off the tip of the artichoke.
- Cut off the stem of the artichoke and pull of small petals toward the base.
- Rinse the artichokes under cold water. While rinsing, use your fingers to open up the petals so that water can reach inside more easily.
- Add water to a large pot over high heat so that the water reaches only a few inches up the sides of the pot. Add a bay leave, a slice of lemon, and a garlic clove.
- Place a steaming basket atop the pot and place the artichokes on the steaming basket. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook for 20 minutes. Eat warm or cold.
How to Eat an Artichoke
Pull off the petals and dip them into butter, mayonnaise, or your favorite sauce or dip. After dipping, bite down on the petal and pull through your teeth. The soft part of the petal–the part closest to the inside of the vegetable–will slide into your mouth and the hard part of the petal will stay behind. Toss the remaining petal and repeat! Some dip ideas include:
- Vegan Mayonnaise Dip
- Vegan White Cheese Party Dip
- Vega Black Bean Dip with Cumin and Citrus
- Baked Mozzarella and Marinara Dip
- Lemon Yogurt Sauce
- Avocado Alfredo Sauce
Once you’ve eaten or removed the petals, use a spoon to remove the fuzzy part–the choke–which is inedible. Doing so will reveal the artichoke heart just atop the stem. You can use the artichoke heart as a “bowl” or “crust” of sorts and top with it with veggies, cheese, or meat, or you can chop the artichoke heart up and mix it into salads, pasta, soups, and sauces. I like using the pieces as a pizza topping.
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