Artichokes can be such an intimidating spring vegetable. If you’ve never cooked a whole artichoke before, you might feel a little bit daunted. Learn how to cook artichokes and check out some other yummy artichoke recipes!
Fun fact: artichokes are actually part of the sunflower family. They make a pretty, edible ornamental in your spring garden. You can also look for them at farmer’s markets or in your spring CSA basket. They’re also rich in potassium, which supports heart health and may reduce your risk of stroke. Artichokes also have antioxidants that help support your immune system and can help protect you fellas from prostate cancer.
Cooking Whole Artichokes (and how to eat them!)
Ingredients (Makes 1 artichoke. You’ll want to prepare one per person.)
- 1 whole artichoke
- 2 tablespoons of vegan seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons vinaigrette
1. Chop about 1/2″ of the pointy top off of the artichoke, then gently stuff the breadcrumbs in between the leaves.
2. Place a steamer basket into the bottom of a large pot with enough water to reach almost to the base of the basket, but not so much that the artichokes are sitting in any water. Bring the water to a boil, then place the artichokes into the pot.
3. Cover and steam for 30-40 minutes, adding a bit more water, if necessary. Your artichokes are done when the outer leaves are tender and pull away easily. The range of cooking times is broad, because it depends on the size of your artichoke and how tender it was to begin with. Just keep checking until it’s ready!
4. Serve with vinaigrette on the side for dipping.
When I was a kid, my pops would steam whole artichokes for us like this in the springtime, and it was one of our favorite meals! Eating a whole artichoke is more than just supper: it’s an activity.
Artichokes have woody outer leaves that get more tender as you make your way into the center. Even the woodiest leaves have some goods on them, though, so don’t discard them once they’re steamed! Pops served our artichokes with vinaigrette on the side. Dip the tender bottom of the leaf into the dressing, then use your teeth to scrape away the fleshy part. You can collect the leftover leaves for composting after supper.
Once you’ve peeled most of the leaves, you’ll find the hairy choke. Slice the hairy part away, and what’s left is the best part of the artichoke: the heart. We would dig into the heart with a knife and fork, and it’s heavenly.
Bonus Artichoke Recipes
If you can’t find fresh artichokes at the market but still want to get in on the artichoke goodness, you can find artichoke hearts in cans or aseptic boxes at the grocery store. They make a great, healthy snack dipped in some dressing or chopped onto a salad. Want to get fancier with your artichoke hearts? Check out these recipes!
- 15 Ways to Use Artichokes
- Pasta With Fresh Artichokes & Lemon
- Spinach Artichoke Dip with Garlic Cashew Cream
- Raw Artichoke Salad (Leave off the cheese to make this a vegan recipe)
- Olive & Artichoke Pate
- Tomato and Artichoke Pasta
- White Bean, Asparagus, and Artichoke Heart Salad
- Greek-Style Tofu Salad with Artichokes and Olives
What’s your favorite way to cook artichokes? Do you buy them whole or look for just the hearts?