recipe

April 21, 2022

How to Cook, Eat and Serve Artichokes

The first sign of Spring for me in Minnesota is the artichokes coming from California. This usually means 6 more weeks until Spring. The artichokes are my groundhog and much more reliable than Puckatanny Phil.

The artichoke is actually the bud of a thistle—a flower. The leaves cover a fuzzy center called the “choke”, which sits on top of a meaty core, called the “heart” that takes some work to get to for eating. The heart is completely edible and delicious, but the fuzzy choke is too fibrous to eat. The leaves of the artichoke are tough, and you have to scrape them with your teeth to eat the tender parts.

Artichokes

 

When buying artichokes at the store plan on 1 per person. Choose artichokes that feel heavy whose leaves are tight and not flayed open. Look for signs of dryness and avoid those artichokes. Fresh artichoke leaves squeak.

To prepare artichokes for cooking you cut about 1 inch off the top of the globe. Each leaf has a prickly thorn point – cut those off. Cut the base of the artichoke off so it sits flat in your pot. Now your artichoke is ready to cook. Artichokes can be boiled, steamed, or in my opinion, the best way to cook them is the Instant Pot here is how I do it.

Instant Pot Artichokes

Instant Pot Artichokes

Yield: 2

Whole artichokes with homemade aioli is a first sign of Spring

Ingredients

  • 2 large globe artichokes trimmed
  • 2 pieces of sliced lemon
  • Bay Leaf (optional)
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

    1. Place the artichokes into the pot, stem side
      down.
    2. Add 2 cups of water, a few slices of lemon,
      and a Bay leaf if you have it in the pot.
    3. Close the lid and set the steam release knob
      to the Sealing position
    4. Press the Manual Button then the + or - button to 15 for large artichokes 
    5. Once the beeper goes off and the pot turns over to L - let it sit for 5 minutes of natural release while the pressure of the pot comes down the artichokes are still cooking in the pot during this
      time.
    6. When the 5 minutes is over, do a quick release of the steam/pressure by turning the steam release knob to the venting position.
    7. You can tell when the artichoke is done when a knife slides into the bottom easily (if it’s not done pop it in for 5 more minutes of manual pressure.)





Notes

Serve with homemade aioli

How to Eat an Artichoke

Artichokes may be eaten cold or hot, but I think they are much better hot. They are served with a dip, either melted butter or mayonnaise. My favorite dip is a homemade aioli mayo

Lemon Aioli

Lemon Aioli

Yield: 1 cup

This Lemon Aioli makes a simple steamed artichoke delicious

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic grated on a Microplane grater
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a small food processor cup using an immersion blender whisk together yolks, lemon juice and zest, and mustard. Pulse, scraping down the sides until it becomes a pale yellow paste.
  2. While the immersion blender is on, very slowly pour the oil into the yolk mixture. It should start to thicken and combine
  3. When fully combined, add the garlic and salt, giving a few more quick pulses
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to let flavors combine

Notes

This recipe is delicious with steamed artichokes

Pull off the outer leaves and dip the white fleshy part into the sauce. Put it into your mouth and pull the leaf upside down scraping the flesh with your teeth to remove soft, fleshy parts of the leaf. Continue until all of the petals are removed.

When you get to the tender inner leaves with the purple tips, you can remove them all at once. Dip and eat just the light-colored parts of these leaves.

Artichokes

Scrape out the choke

Artichokes

With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. When you have removed the choke cut the heart into 4 pieces, dip it into your remaining sauce, and eat.

 

 

 

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