How to Trim Artichokes

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How to Trim Artichokes

How to Trim Artichokes


Choosing Fresh Artichokes

Select artichokes that are weighty for their size, have very closed leaves and are a deep green color.

If the leaves are open, the artichoke may not be as fresh.

Buy artichokes throughout the spring for the freshest crop.


How to Trim Artichokes

Preparing Artichokes

Prepare a large bowl of cold water and squeeze a couple lemons into it, and then set it aside.

Rinse your artichokes in cold water to remove any excess dirt or sand.


How to Trim Artichokes

Trim the stem of the artichoke, but do not cut off the entire stem because it is edible and flavorful.


How to Trim Artichokes

Peel off any small leaves that accumulate near the stem of the artichoke.


How to Trim Artichokes

Chop about 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) off the top of the artichoke, or you can use kitchen shears to trim off the thorny edges of the leaves if you prefer.


How to Trim Artichokes

Place the trimmed and cleaned artichokes into the bowl of water to prevent them from discoloration.


Cooking Artichokes


How to Trim Artichokes

Boiling artichokes

Boil the artichokes for the most traditional method of cooking them.

Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil and add salt.

Drop the artichokes carefully into the pot once the water begins to boil and leave them to cook for 30 to 45 minutes.

Drain artichokes with the stem up before serving.


How to Trim Artichokes

Steaming artichokes

Steam your artichokes for less cooking time and to preserve more of their nutrients.

Place a couple inches (4 cm) of water into a pot to boil with a steaming basket on top. Add some lemon juice and salt to flavor the water if you prefer.

Drop the artichokes into the pot once the water begins to boil and steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain artichokes with the stem up before serving.


How to Trim Artichokes

Grilling artichokes

Grill the artichokes after steaming or boiling them for even more flavor.

Slice the artichokes in half lengthwise.

Discard the choke, which is the inedible part of the artichoke just above the heart that looks like a bunch of tiny hair.

Drizzle or brush the artichoke with olive oil and place it on the grill carefully, turning it once to get color on both sides.


How to Trim Artichokes



Tips: Cooked artichokes will last about 1 week in the refrigerator, or several months in the freezer. Do not freeze fresh artichokes; they will only become brown and bitter.


How to Trim Artichokes

Before cooking artichokes, you've got to deal with their sharp outer leaves and the prickly choke inside. Learn how to cut artichokes down to their hearts or bottoms, and how to trim them when steaming them whole.


Whether you're braising, sautéing, or steaming them, cooking artichokes means taming their thorny personality: you've got these sharp outer leaves, and the prickly choke inside.


Before you do anything with artichokes, you want to have a bowl of lemon water at hand. The cut surfaces of artichokes tend to brown as soon as they're exposed to air; dropping them into the water as you work will slow down this browning. Squeeze three lemon halves into thebowl of water--no need to pick out the seeds. Hold on to the fourth lemon half to rub directly on the cut surfaces of the artichokes.


To trim artichokes down to the heart, start by snapping off the dark-green outer leaves until you reach the cone of paler, more tender inner leaves. At this point they're really more yellow than green. 

Cut off the top third of the artichoke and all but 1 inch of the stem.


Now use a paring knife to peel away the tough outer layer of the stem and remove the base of the leaves all around. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise.


With a spoon or melon baller, scoop out and discard the hairy choke and thorny inner leaves. If your recipe calls for quartered hearts, just cut them lengthwise, and you're good to go. These go into the bowl of lemon water, and I use a clean wet dishtowel on top to keep them submerged as I work.


Sometimes a recipe calls for a whole artichoke bottom. This is similar to the heart, but just involves trimming off more of the leaves and stem so it sits flat on the plate.


Pull off the outer leaves again, down to the pale inner cone. But now we cut the leaves much closer to the base, and cut off the entire stem. 


I use my paring knife to trim away the tough green skin on the underside, and then my melon baler to scoop out the prickly choke and thorny inner leaves.


The simplest way to prep an artichoke is if you're steaming it whole. All you do is trim off the stem, leaving about a 1/2 inch. Then pull off any tough small leaves near the bottom. 


Remove the thorny leaf tips by cutting about 1/2 inch from the top. Use kitchen scissors to trim the tops from all the leaves that are a little lower down. And there you go, the artichoke is ready to steam and serve with a little melted butter for dipping.


How to Cook Artichokes

The artichoke is a flower that grows mainly in the Mediterranean region and in California. Artichokes require a bit of preparation before they are cooked, but they contain a lot of flavor and many nutrients. They are full of antioxidants, vitamin C and a good source of potassium, and possibly aid in the prevention of some cancers. Here are a few steps on how to cook artichokes.



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