I love artichokes. Today I am sharing how to cook an artichoke. I like to boil an artichoke and grill an artichoke. I am also sharing how to make artichoke dip sauces.
I cook artichokes almost every week. I usually boil them or grill them and I serve them with my Garlic, Lemon Aioli Sauce. My husband and boys love them too. So today I am sharing How to Cook an Artichoke.
Guess what? Our dog Sport eats artichokes too. He doesn’t eat them like you would expect, nope, he eats them just like us. I am not kidding! Be sure to check out my Instagram this afternoon for a video. It’s pretty hysterical.
How to Cook an Artichoke
I can’t even remember when I cooked an artichoke for the first time. I think it was shortly after college. I had an artichoke in a restaurant and decided I needed to figure out how to make on myself.
It was bad.
Why? Because I undercooked it.
If there is one piece of advice I can give about cooking artichokes, it is Do Not Undercook Them! Over cook them if you have to!
There is an easy test to determine if they are done. I will get to that in a bit.
Oops, I have one more tip. Always serve an artichoke with a yummy dipping sauce. I have four recipes to share with you today and these are the only dips you will ever need.
Artichokes are very easy vegetables to cook, you just need to prep them a bit.
How to Prep an Artichoke
- Using a sharp knife, cut the top (about an inch off of the top) of the artichoke. This helps the leaves open up more easily and allows water to circulate while cooking.
- Pull the smaller leaves off of the bottom of the artichoke near the stem.
- I cut the stem down so that it is not too long, some artichokes come with the stems already trimmed.
- The leaves of artichokes have small thorns at the tips, you need to trim these off with kitchen scissors. The thorns will soften as they cook and this step is not required, but for artichoke prep, people new to artichokes and children, I like to trim the thorns so that everyone has a good artichoke experience and no one gets poked, including me!
- Rinse the artichokes with water, pulling at the leaves a bit to loosen them before you cook them.
How to Boil an Artichoke
- Using a large stockpot, fill with water so that the artichokes will be covered. You can add lemon, garlic, aromatics, or you can cook in just plain water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- If you have a steaming basket, you can use it to place the artichokes in and lower them into the boiling water. If not, use tongs to lower the artichokes into the water so that you don’t get splashed with boiling water.
- Cook the artichokes in boiling water for at least 45 – 90 minutes (depending on the size of the artichokes) until the outer leaves are soft and pull away easily. We have had monster big artichokes at the market lately, they take at least an hour and a half to cook.
- Once the artichokes are softened, cooked through and the leaves pull away easily, remove from the water. If you used a steaming basket, pull the basket out of the water and place in the sink to cool. If you did not use a steaming basket, remove the cooked artichokes with tongs and place in a colander to cool.
- Artichokes can be served hot, warm or cold. This is a matter of preference. I prefer mine warm, not too hot but have eaten them cold and enjoyed them also. The serving temperature has a lot to do with what dipping sauce you serve them with.
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How to Grill an Artichoke
- Follow all of the artichoke prep steps above (steps 1-5).
- Being careful, I use kitchen gloves for this step so that the knife doesn’t slip, cut the artichokes in half.
- Using a strong spoon, scoop out the fibrous, hair-like choke.
- Using a large stock pot, fill with water so that the artichokes will be covered. You can add lemon, garlic, aromatics, or you can cook in just plain water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- If you have a steaming basket, you can use it to place the artichokes in and lower into the boiling water. If not, use tongs to lower the artichokes into the water so that you don’t get splashed with boiling water.
- Cook the artichokes in the boiling water for about 20-30 minutes (depending on size of artichokes) until the outer leaves are soft and pull away easily.
- Once the artichokes are softened, and the leaves pull away easily, remove the artichoke halves from the water. You want them to be just a little less cooked than if you were serving boiled/steamed artichokes as the gill will continue to cook them. If you used a steaming basket, pull the basket out of the water and place in the sink to cool. If you did not use a steaming basket, remove the cooked artichokes halves with tongs and place in a colander to cool.
- Heat your grill or grill pan to medium/high heat (the goal is grill marks). Brush the flat side of the artichoke halves with olive oil and place flat side down on the grill or grill pan. Grill for 5-10 minutes until grill marks appear on the artichoke halves.
- Remove from heat and serve with your choice of dipping sauce.
Grill pans are great for those who live in climates where you cannot grill year-round a grill pan sits right on top of you stove top like a frying pan and allows you to get that grilled taste and grill marks until you can get to your outdoor grill.
How to Eat an Artichoke
- Pull the leaves from the artichoke one at a time, starting with the outermost layer of leaves. The base of the leaf is a milky white color and is where the meat of the artichoke is.
- Holding the leaf at the top (green end), dip the white end into whatever dipping sauce you have chosen.
- Using your teeth, gently grip the leaf and scrape the artichoke meat, together with the dipping sauce. There is not a right way or a wrong way to scrape the artichoke leaf. Some turn the leaf upside down so that the scoop of the leaf fits over your tongue (I don’t do this because i tend to lose my dipping sauce in the turn) some leave the leaf with the scoop side up.
- Always have a large communal bowl on the table for the discarded leaves.
- As you pull off the leaves, the leaves will get thinner and turn a light purplish color. These are OK to eat, they are just delicate. Once they thin to the point that they are too delicate to hold dipping sauce, simply remove the remaining leaves all at once.
- You will then see the fibrous hairlike part known as the choke. This is technically edible. I’m not sure who would want to eat the choke, but I am confident there are grandpas out there somewhere who would tell you they are edible and that they’ll put hair on your chest. They also can be a choking hazard, so I avoid the choke.
- Use a spoon, fork or knife to scrape the choke off of the artichoke base and put into the discarded leaves bowl.
- Once the choke has been scraped off, you have made your way to the treasure of the artichoke, the heart. Cut the heart from the base, about an inch wide and cut the heart into pieces. Dip the heart into the dipping sauce and enjoy!
Artichoke Dipping Sauces
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 TBL of fresh lemon juice (I use Meyer lemons always.)
- Grated lemon zest for garnish
- Mix the mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon. Place in a serving dish and garnish with grated lemon zest.
- 1 TBL olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup white wine
- 3 TBL lemon juice
- 6 TBL butter chop into 1 TBL pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Once warmed, add garlic and stir, being careful not to brown the garlic (about 2-3 minutes or until garlic is softened).
Add white wine, stir to combine with oil, and alcohol is cooked off (about 2-3 minutes).
Add lemon juice and stir to combine.
Add butter, 1 TBL at a time, whisking constantly. Once the butter is melted and the sauce is completely combined, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour sauce into individual ramekins to serve with individual artichoke. Serve immediately
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- ⅛ cup sour cream
- ⅛ cup mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 oz. frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain excess liquid
In a mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients except spinach.
Once well combined, add spinach and stir to combine.
Spread dip into individual ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or until bubbly.
Serve while warm but not so warm that the ramekin will burn the fingers of the dipper. This sauce will be thick and cheesy so serve with a spoon to help onto each artichoke leaf.
- 6 TBL melted butter
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 TBL dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like heat)
- 2 TBL chopped parsley
- 2 tsp minced thyme
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, dijon, cayenne, and lemon juice, and zest.
Whisk until combined. Once combined, add parsley, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper or omit if preferred.
Pour into individual ramekins to serve with individual artichokes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Artichokes are low in fat, high in fiber, and loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. They are also one of the richest sources of antioxidants.
Artichokes have shown to be anti-inflammatory and used as a digestive aid to reduce bloating and promote regularity. Ranked as the number one overall vegetable for antioxidants, artichokes help combat oxidative stress related to chronic diseases and aging.
Artichokes are not a veggie we typically associate with giving our dog for its nutritional benefits, but in moderation, artichokes are safe and very healthy for a dog’s diet. Our dog Sport has learned to scrape the leaves with his teeth, just like humans, but I don’t allow him to eat the entire leaf. He can eat it just like we do.
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