Steamed Artichokes

Published on March 24, 2020

Artichoke is a little exotic. You eat it very differently than other vegetables. They are steamed 20 to 40 minutes depending on the size. The ones shown in the pictures are large.

Begin preparing them by cutting a 1/2 inch off the top and enough off the bottom so that about 3 inches of the heart is exposed.

If you want to you can cut the sharp tips off the leaves with cooking scissors.

Place the artichokes on the steam basket over the boiling water and cover. You can check for tenderness by grabbing one with tongs and turning it over and putting a fork in the heart. Another test people use is the leaves should remove easily. In time you’ll be able to tell just by the very olive color of a cooked artichoke. Transfer the artichoke to a dinner plate with a small bowl or ramekin of just melted butter, just mayonnaise, or other sauce.

Links for artichoke dipping sauce ideas:

10 Simple Dips for Artichokes
Artichoke Dipping Sauces: Four Easy Delicious Recipes
Magic Artichoke Dipping Sauce

You’ll only be eating the bottom of the leaves. Starting from the outside of the artichoke, the first rows of leaves are eaten by turning the leaf so the tender side is facing your lower teeth and pressing upper and lower teeth against the leaf as you slide it out, scraping the tender part off into your mouth. About half way through the artichoke, the entire bottom of the leaves will become tender and at one point you can start removing them in bunches by pinching the tops and pulling them off together, and then biting off the entire bottom. When you reach the end of the leaves, scoop off the inedible fuzz with a spoon, being careful not to remove part of the heart. Once the heart is all clean, cut it in bite-sized pieces and dip them in the butter or mayonnaise.

two artichokes
cut up artichoke
preparing a artichoke
flowering artichokes at the farmers market
artichokes at the farmers market

Freshly picked artichokes in Rome, Italy. Photo by Grayce Bell