How to Cook Artichokes
Fresh artichokes can look a little scary to prepare (they are a thistle after all!), but are actually rather easy to cook in a few simple steps. When selecting artichokes for cooking, be sure that the tips are closed and the leaves are tight (that means they are fresher). The best selections should appear heavy for their size and the leaves should "squeak" when squeezed.
- To prepare an artichoke for cooking, trim and discard the dried part of the stem (you'll want to keep as much of the stem as possible) and peel off the outer most leaves. If you plan to stuff the artichokes, you should also trim off the tips of the leaves with kitchen scissors. Brushing the edges of the entire artichoke with a lemon will help to keep the artichoke from browning.
- Artichokes can be steamed or boiled. Just place the artichokes into a large pot and steam or boil for 20-30 minutes. Once cooked completely, the leaves will pull off easily.
- To eat the artichokes, allow the artichokes to cool off long enough so that you can handle them. Pull off the leaves and scrape the base of the leaves along your teeth to pull of the small bits of artichoke flesh (optional!). You can dip the leaf tips into melted butter, mayonnaise or other sauce for extra flavor.
- The artichoke heart: Once the leaves have been removed, pull off the hairy (inedible!) "choke" to expose the artichoke heart. Remove the heart from the base of the plant and eat!
*Artichokes can also be cooked in a microwave, pressure cooker or crock pot.