how do you cook an artichoke?

  • Posted by: kutch
  • March 24, 2011


nutcakes March 25, 2011
They are an everyday vegetable for us (in CA) in season, so we don't usually fuss. I will only snap off a layer of tough leaves frm the stem end, cut the stem down to an inch, but in a pot with an inch of water, lid on and steam till done, 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size. A knife point will pierce the bottom easily, but don't overcook too much. For company I'll lop the top 1-1/2 to 2 inches off and after steaming split it, remove the choke and fuzz, spread the leaves and stuff inbetween and add extra stuffing to the center indentation, drizzle with olive oil and bake till hot. Stuffing is similar to Stockout, toasted fresh bread crumbs, lots of garlic sauteed in butter, parsley, lemon peel, sometimes chopped toasted pine nuts or proscuitto.

I used to be able to cook it in the microwave wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, but lately it just shrivels it. Maybe try 1/2 power next time.
innoabrd March 25, 2011
I'm a fan of the Italian style of preparing them so that your diners are only served what is edible. Marcella Hazan includes a good tutorial on the technique. Once they're prepped, I generally braise them, though I often then further cook them into her artichoke, shrimp mozzarella casserole. Yum! Featured in the NYT a few years ago.
Bevi March 25, 2011
I love the way Helen's All Night Diner finishes off the artichokes. That seems like the best of both worlds, having saved time using the pressure cooker.
Helen's A. March 25, 2011
I agree with Bevi. I always cook my artichokes in the pressure cooker! I trim them carefully cutting off the top a bit and paring down the stem, see photo I found on line. You can prepare by boiling then proceed as follows. After they are cooked, I cool slightly, then cut in half north to south. Carefully scoop out the choke with a small knife or grapefruit spoon. Make ahead to this point, hold in the fridge for a day or two. When ready to serve, I heat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add a tbs each of good olive oil and unsalted butter, wait for foam to subside, then toss in a generous pinch of course Kosher or sea salt. Arrange the artichoke halves cut side down in the pan. Cook gently until the cut side is nicely golden brown. To serve, arrange cut side up on a plate or platter. If you want more butter, melt more in the pan you used and pour over the artichokes. Squeeze a bit of lemon over everything and serve. Makes a very pretty side dish that is easy to portion out.
zametkin March 24, 2011
Agree with Bevi,,,having had an abundance of artichokes while living in CA, it is clearly the best way to cook best, trim and steam them. This takes a bit longer but nothing is lost in taste/texture.
Bevi March 24, 2011
If you have a pressure cooker, you can cut the cooking time in half. Add about an inch of water to the pressure cooker, and place the artichokes, prepped as suggested by foodpicklers above, on the pressure cooker tray. My confession is: I use my pressure cooker only to cook artichokes!
student E. March 24, 2011
for fresh springtime artichokes, i like to keep it simple. trim the stem and cut off the top 2 inches of the artichoke. use a grapefruit spoon to dig out the choke from the middle. rub the edges with half a lemon, including the stem. steam in ~2 inches of water for ~30 minutes until when you gently tug a leaf, it easily comes off. eat each leaf dipped in butter!
Summer O. March 24, 2011
I have not tried this yet but I have been reading the Jose Andres cookbooks this week and he says you can use a tablespoon of chopped parsley instead of lemon in the cold water to keep the chokes from oxidizing. This prevents you from imparting a lemon flavor to the thistle.
Stockout March 24, 2011
Depends on what you want from your artichoke. You want to cook a whole artichoke for stuffing or just to get to the hearts. The best way to cook 1 artichoke for any recipe is to place an artichoke that has been cleaned of all tips of each leaf of the artichoke (snip them off). In a water bath with 4-5 halved lemons, boil the chokes for at least 30 minutes until a knife inserted into the center of a choke goes in and removes easily. Remove and place in a bowl of cool water. If you want to get to just the choke you need to slice th artichoke in half and remove the choke. I usally take a cooked artichoke, spread the leaves open and stuff them with a bread crumb, garlic, lemon, olive oil and bread crumb stuffing into each leaf and steam them in a steamer for 30 minutes.
prettyPeas March 24, 2011
I usually rinse and throw into a big pot of boiling water with a couple of lemon wedges squeezed, then left in the water. I cut of just the oxidized part of the stem, then toss in the water. If the artichoke has very prickly leaves, you may want to trim it, like in this tutorial

After simmering for 30-45 or so minutes (until leaves can easily be pulled off) follow the directions at simplyrecipes for eating the leaves and cleaning up the choke. One of my favorite parts is the stem. Just remove the fibrous outer layer with a knife.
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