Native to the Mediterranean region, the artichoke is the not-yet-bloomed flower of a thistle plant that is part of the sunflower family. Despite their slightly prickly exterior, artichokes are quite easy to prepare, cook and eat. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Easy Artichoke Prep
- Because they have sharp barbs, the first thing you’ll want to do in preparation is to cut the top cluster of barbs off with a sharp knife. This will remove about a quarter of the artichoke. Then, utilizing kitchen shears, cut the barbs off the tops of the remaining leaves.
TIP: Don’t worry that you’re taking too much off the top of the artichoke or the tops of the leaves—the edible part is at the base of the leaf. More on that later …
- Now that the artichoke is easier to handle, remove the small leaves at the base, closest to the stem and cut the stem, leaving about a ½”.
- The final step is to rinse the artichoke under cool running water to remove any debris that might be trapped in between petals.
Cooking an Artichoke: It’s Easy!
- Add just enough water to a pot so that the water is just below the steamer basket. Cover and bring the water to a boil.
- Add the prepared artichoke, replace the lid and lower the heat to simmer the water. It will take 20-40 minutes to cook. After 20 minutes, you’ll want to check the artichoke(s) every 5 minutes. The color will change from fresh green to a more muted green and you’ll know it’s read when you can easily remove a petal. TIP: Use tongs for this part—those petals will be really hot!
- Set aside and allow to cool a bit before eating it.
Now What? How to Eat an Artichoke
- Serve the artichoke right-side up on a plate.
- Remove a petal from the artichoke and eat only the bottom, whitish fleshy part of the petal that was closest to the base of the artichoke.
- You can certainly eat artichokes plain, or with a little salt & pepper. Try dipping them in melted butter or ghee, a tangy vinaigrette or a savory aioli.
TIP: Have a bowl at-the-ready for discarded petals.
Easy Aioli Recipe
- 2 Garlic cloves, pressed
- ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
- ½ cup Sprouts Organic Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Mash garlic and salt in a small bowl until a paste forms.
- Whisk in mayonnaise, oil and lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper—enjoy!