To most people I’ve talked to, cooking artichokes seems very intimidating. They are actually pretty easy to cook and you should do it all the time! They are in season now and on sale, so we’ve been eating them at least once a week, sometimes more. Steamed artichokes are my favorite! It’s probably the simplest way to prepare an artichoke.
Now, I bet if you talk to 10 different people, they will tell you 10 different ways to eat an artichoke. Some like dipping the leaves in butter, some mayo. Some scrape the flesh off the leaves with their top teeth, some their bottom. Some eat the stem, some don’t. And there are some (crazy people) that disregard the heart completely and just throw it out. Crazy! It takes a little patience to get to it, but the heart is the best part! Try steaming artichokes if you haven’t already and you can experiment to figure out what works for you. I like to eat mine with some melted butter sprinkled with black pepper and garlic powder but I’m a simple lass. If you find a great dipping sauce that you love, let me know! I’d love to try it!
When choosing an artichoke, it should be nice and green but some brown spots are fine. I’ve had the best luck with ones that have closed leaves rather than open. You also want to choose one that feels heavier than it looks. I picked up that tip from Alton Brown and it hasn’t failed me yet.
I trim about 1/2″ to 3/4″ off the top of the chokes with a very sharp knife and I cut the stems flush with the bottom. You may need to remove some leaves first by just pulling them off. Then I use kitchen shears to snip off the tips of the leaves to get rid of the little sharp points. I got one stuck in my finger once and it did not feel good.
Place the artichokes stem side down in a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill the pot with water until the water starts to come up into the steamer basket about 1/2″. Turn heat to medium-high and allow water to boil. Check often to make sure there is always water in the pot. If you run out of water, you will burn your pot. It’s a bitch to clean and it stinks. My husband still makes fun of me “burning water”. If it gets too low, just add more hot water. Artichokes are done when a leaf can be pulled off easily.
- 2 artichokes
- 1 stick butter
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Trim off top and stem of artichokes. Using shears, cut off tips of leaves to remove sharp point.
- Place artichokes in a steamer basket set in a large pot. Fill pot with water until 1/2" high in steamer basket. Turn heat to medium-high/high and allow to boil for 45 - 60 minutes. (Check water after 30 minutes and add more if needed. You don't want it to run out or you will burn your pot. Trust me!)
- Artichokes are done when you can easily pull off an outer leaf. Turn off heat and prepare dipping sauce. In a small saucepan, heat butter, garlic powder, and pepper until melted. Serve warm.
- Depending on the artichokes, they may take longer to cook. I've had some cook in 30 minutes and some over an hour. Keep water boiling in pot and they shouldn't take over an hour.