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How to Prepare and Eat an Artichoke.

Updated on June 23, 2013

Fun Artichoke Facts

Castroville, California calls itself "The Artichoke Center of the World" and Marilyn Monroe was crowned its first Artichoke queen in 1947.

California produces 100% of the US artichokes, which is only 3% of the world's.

The Greeks and Romans considered them to be an aphrodisiac

Artichokes are One of Nature's Super Foods

They rank in the top ten out of over a thousand foods in total antioxidant capacity per serving. Sadly, the artichoke is a seriously misunderstood vegetable. Because of its unusual texture and the assumption that it is difficult to prepare and eat, it is not enjoyed nearly as much as it could be! Artichokes are a pure and simple food that don't need to be coupled with anything else to taste delicious!

Please rate this a 5 if you enjoy this method for preparing your artichokes.

4.3 stars from 4 ratings of Artichokes!

Eating an Artichoke is a fun experience

Eating an artichoke doesn't take skill but it helps if you know what you are doing! The first time I saw people enjoying artichokes, I found it fascinating! I watched them tear off the leaves, scraping the "meat" with their teeth on each individual leave, then tossing it in a bowl. I watched them get to the center, peel away the "hairs" and savor the succulent heart, which now looked like the artichokes I was familiar with! I couldn't wait to try it myself!

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 40 min
Yields: 1 artichoke per person
  • as many whole fresh artichokes as you like/or as many as you can fit in your pot. .
  • 1 fresh lemon for every 2 artichokes .
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt .
  1. Wash the artichokes in cold water. Make sure to run the water through the leaves.
  2. Cut off the stems. If you want a neater, more uniform appearance you can remove some of the leaves at the base. Some people like to trim the tips, also. I prefer to leave them intact.
  3. Put the artichokes ina pot filled 3/4 of the way with cold water.
  4. Cut the lemons in half and place in pot with the salt.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil then cook on medium/high for another hour or so until tender. You may need to add a little more cold water. (use a tong to take off a leaf to check for tenderness)
  6. When tender, remove from heat and allow the excess water to drain while fuly cooling them off.

Step-by-Step guide for cooking Whole Artichokes

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Start out with fresh, green aerichokes.After a thorough cleaning, cut off the stems to cook along with the artichokes.Put the artichokes, stems and lemon wedges in the pot of water.Bring it to a rolling boil.
Start out with fresh, green aerichokes.
Start out with fresh, green aerichokes. | Source
After a thorough cleaning, cut off the stems to cook along with the artichokes.
After a thorough cleaning, cut off the stems to cook along with the artichokes. | Source
Put the artichokes, stems and lemon wedges in the pot of water.
Put the artichokes, stems and lemon wedges in the pot of water. | Source
Bring it to a rolling boil.
Bring it to a rolling boil. | Source

Cooking tips for Artichokes.

Artichokes must be cooked only in stainless steel or glass as they will oxidize and turn brown in any other material.

While lemons contribute to the flavor, they also help to keep your artichokes true in color.

Salt will help them boil faster but the water may dissapate too quickly. Watch the water level and add some if it gets too low.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 artichoke
Calories 400
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 25 g8%
Sugar 1 g
Protein 5 g10%
Sodium 400 mg17%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Health Benefits of Artichokes

Artichokes are one of the most healthy foods in the world. Some of the benefits in artichokes include:

  • High in antioxidants
  • High in fiber
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Aids digestion
  • Good for the liver
  • Helps prevent cancer

How to eat an Artichoke.

Now that you have prepared this beautiful vegetable, it's time to enjoy it! Eating an artichoke is an art. It has to be done correctly to enjoy the full benefits. It should not be a contest of who can get to the heart first or you will miss out on the tenderness of each leaf! Many people like to dip the leaves in drawn butter or other dipping sauces. I, personally think the flavor of the artichoke cooked with lemon and salt is enough but you should do what makes you happy! I do like a bit of salt at the end. it seems to bring out the flavor in the heart. We prepared this video to give you the full benefits of eating an artichoke! Enjoy!

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    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, IndigoXylia. Welcome to my hub. I hope you enjoy it!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Welcome and thank you for visiting my hub, DzyMsLizzy! Yes, I can relate to your exchange students as I never ate a whole one until I was an adult! Thanks for the "tip" (pun intended!) I probably should have mentioned it, but not all have thorns, as you can see from the pictures and videos and I didn't want to scare the less adventurous away;)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Audrey! First tasting artichokes as an adult, coupled with the rising cost, has made them akin to a delicacy!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Years ago, when my youngest daughter was in the San Francisco Girls Chorus, we hosted an exchange chorus from Australia. Two of their singers stayed with us. One evening, we served artichokes; they had never seen any such vegetable, and it was funny to see the expressions on their faces, as they tried to figure out how to approach this "California delicacy." ;-)

      (P.S.--the tips have THORNS!! I cut them off, as I don't like it when my food stabs me! ;-) )

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Yum! I grew up near a farming community --artichokes were cheap and plentiful--and we ate them as snacks--good to know that they are so good for you!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      drbj, thank you, thank you, thank you! I love it!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, A bby!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ah, Frank, maybe this way, you would like an artichoke! Thank you, my friend!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Mary! I truly appreciate you!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      I think that I will never see,

      An artichoke that appeals to me.

      They are just not my cup of tea.

      But your hub's great for one who is a devotee. Trust me!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for these great tips, Randi. I don't really care for artichokes unless it's in spinach dip, but my husband loves them. :-)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      if I did like artichoke this would be the way I'll prepare it thank you for the share :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      My kids will love this hub as they love artichokes. Written in your great informational style!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Rebecca, welcome to my hubpage! Thank you for your comment! Definitely eat more artichokes!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      You're welcome, Jackie! They should be a good addition to your hub!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Faith! You are always such a faithful follower and sharer! You are appreciated!

      BTW, my favorite is spinach and artichoke dip but this way is much healthier!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have never prepared them...only ate in restaurants. Thanks for these great instructions on cooking artichokes as well as providing nutrition info! Eat more artichokes!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Iammattdoran and welcome to my hubpage! Do try it. They are really good!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Well I will have to add this gem to my anti-cancer hub, I had no idea. Thank you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Randi,

      Great hub here and thanks for sharing all about the artichoke! I love to make artichoke dip. It is delicious!

      Voted up ++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Iammattdoran profile image

      Matt Doran 4 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Excellent hub! I've never bought or tried to cook an artichoke precisely for the reason that I have no idea what to do with it! Hub bookmarked for future reference. Thanks

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Aw, Bill, you will truly be missing out! Thank you, though, for always visiting even when it is clearly not to your "taste" ;)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hey Carol! Funny, I've never steamed them. I will have to try! Yes, as a matter of fact we were just talking about it yesterday! I was thinking of maybe an overnight in Sedona with the whole family. The job is ok. Not a whole lot different from the old one but a change of venue always spruces things up a bit!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Pamela! I don't think you'll be disappointed!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Welcome to my hub, Israelnaturally! Thank you for the rip on the sauce. Sounds delicious!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was laughing at the subheading "eating an artichoke is a fun experience." Now there is a great sales job.

      I'll pass this along to Bev but I think I'll pass on the fun experience. :)

      Good job, Randi, and have a great week.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      We eat them all the time ...cold with a little mayo (just a little)...I steam them and they come out great. I have a very large steamer. Hope you still are planning a little day trip up here..so I can take you to the one good restaurant in Prescott...THere are a few...Hope you are enjoying your new job..

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I've only had artichokes a couple of times and never prepared them, but as a vegetable lover The video was helpful also. I am going to following your excellent instructions.

    • israelnaturally profile image

      israelnaturally 4 years ago from Israel

      Thanks for the tips! My friend's (french) mother would make a creamy dipping sauce with lots of lemon juice, salt, pepper and a bit of mayo. Delicious!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Martin! I will have to try that.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this idea. Have you ever tried steaming?

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