With its long stem and spiny leaves, artichokes have a reputation for being hard to prepare just to get to the delicate meat at the center of the artichoke and under the petals. In reality, you can prep and cook an artichoke in about 20 minutes! Here’s how to prepare an artichoke:
1. Wash the artichoke under cold water to get any dirt washed out of the petals. Pat dry.
2. With a long, serrated knife, cut the artichoke about an inch from the top to reveal its heart/open it a bit.
3. Next, address the stem. You can slice about halfway up the stem or remove it entirely if your plating requires the artichoke to sit upright. The stem is edible and a continuation of the heart (the meat), so feel free to save the stem to cook later.
4. With a pair of kitchen shears, cut away the thorny petal tips. If you don’t have kitchen shears, a pair of scissors will work just fine.
5. Now, spread the petals of the artichoke to open it up a bit. That way, your seasonings can fall between the petals.
6. Once the artichoke is prepped, you have a few ways that you can cook it. Add lemon juice to the artichoke, which will help keep it from browning, and then try one of the following:
Begin by preheating the oven to 425°. With the artichoke standing up on a sheet pan, take a knife to the center of the artichoke and create a space to insert a few garlic cloves. Season the artichoke with salt, pepper, and a light drizzle of olive oil, then tightly wrap each artichoke with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Check the artichokes after about 20 minutes, when they should be sizzling.
For a fresh, bright appearance try to steam your artichokes. Fill a large pot with a few inches of water. Flavor the water with aromatics, such as a clove of garlic, bay leaf and slice of lemon. Place the artichokes on top of a steamer, then cover the pot. Once the water boils, reduce to a simmer and steam the artichokes for an additional 25-45 minutes. Once the outer leaves can be pulled, they’re ready to eat!
You can also take advantage of the season and the great weather by grilling your artichoke, which brings out some of its smoky flavors. Cut the artichoke in half or quarters, then follow the steam instructions above. Brush each artichoke with oil, season with salt and pepper, then put the artichokes on the grill, leaf-side up, for about 8 minutes over medium heat.
Artichokes make for a beautiful side dish alongside our Pepperoni Pizza or can become your main dish by stuffing an artichoke with our Turkey Burger . Keep an eye out for other Fresh & Free Addition ideas to continue exploring delicious, nutritious vegetables that can help you meet your weight loss goals.