How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

After receiving an entire box of artichokes last week from Ocean Mist Farms, I was determined to use them in as many different ways as possible.  There are so many ways to use artichokes.  You can steam them, grill them, roast them, or use them for soup.  My favorite way to eat them is the simplest.  Steamed with garlic butter.
Here’s how you do it.
Give your artichokes a nice rinse under cool water.
Line them up and grab a sharp knife and a pair of kitchen scissors.
Make pretty arrangements if you are a nerd like me.
Cut off 1 inch from the end of the stem.  Leave the rest of the stem intact because it is an extension of the tastiest part of the artichoke, the heart.
Trim about 1 inch from the top of the artichoke.  Take a second to enjoy the beauty of this vegetable.
Snip off the tops of the leaves to get rid of the spiny points.
Work your way around until all the leave look like this.
See that point?  OUCH!  Cut it off.
Fill a large pot with a few inches of water.
Place a steamer basket in the bottom.  If you don’t have one, get one.  It is one of my must-have kitchen tools to steam veggies while retaining nutrients and avoiding sogginess.
Place the artichokes face down in the steamer basket.
Cover with a lid and steam over high heat for 30-40 minutes.  Make sure to check the water level a few times as you go.  Add water if needed.
You will know they are done when a toothpick or fork can be inserted easily into the stem.
Now we are ready to make the dipping sauce.  You can make any kind of dipping sauce that you like.  Here are a few ideas for you.  Yes, I know there are lots of healthier options out there, but I really prefer garlic butter since I don’t eat steamed artichokes very often.
If you want to make garlic butter, start by adding 3 cloves chopped garlic to a mixing bowl.
Add 1/3 cup butter and place in the microwave on high for around one and a half minutes, until the butter is melted.
Now it’s time to eat your artichoke.
Grab an outer leaf and pull.  It should easily come off.
Dip it into your sauce, turn it upside down, and scrape the bottom of the leaf off with your teeth.
Toss the leaf into an empty bowl and grab another one!
We had our artichokes with apple butter lamb filets and coconut quinoa.
Joe was excited to try his first artichoke.
What a fun food to eat!
It was all I could do to get him to eat the rest of his dinner.  He was all about the artichoke.
Leila enjoyed it too, although she had a little trouble scraping the meat off with her teeth.
Eat and eat and eat the leaves until you reach the choke.  DON’T EAT THE CHOKE!
This is what the choke looks like.
Take a spoon and scrape out the fuzzy center until you get to the best part of the artichoke.
The heart.  Cut it up and eat it with your sauce, or save it and use it in tomorrow’s soup like I did.  I must say, it took some major restraint to keep ourselves from eating the hearts.  But soup the next day was fantastic!
Congratulations, now you know how to cook and eat an artichoke.
If you are wanting to grill your artichoke, you would still steam it as above, then cut it in half, scoop out the choke and grill.
What’s your favorite way to eat an artichoke?

  • Mike Lieberman May 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for posting this. Bought some from the farmers market last week and had the hardest time making them. Didn't seem like it was worth all the effort in the end.

    Will follow your instructions and make them again.

    Thanks for posting.

  • Amy @ FitMommas May 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks So Much for this! I've always wanted to try artichokes (I've had them, never cooked them) but didn't know where to start. What a fantastic step-by-step instruction!

  • Kristen (swanky dietitian) May 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I am loving the dipping sauce you made. I have to admit that I have never made an artichoke myself. My mom always makes them for dinner whenever we go over there. They are one of my favorite foods though!
    Love that your kids both enjoyed them so much!

  • Alysa May 19, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Mike, I'm glad I could make it easier for you. I hope next time works out better!

    Amy, thanks for the comment. I hope it inspires you to try artichokes!

    Kristen, thanks! Now you know how to make artichokes too 🙂

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  • Jill November 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Our family loves artichokes with melted butter for dipping, but when we had a run on artichokes we experimented with a Gorgonzola cream sauce dip and that was yummy. And thanks for the tips on cutting and steaming. Didn’t know the toothpick test for doneness. Clever.

    • inspiredrd November 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Oh wow that sauce sounds delicious!