Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

I use a small steamer in a large pot and steam about 6 at a time.

Fresh whole artichokes
This is artichoke season and those big beautiful globes are in all of the supermarkets. You may have looked at them and wondered how you cook and eat them. Since, my husband's family is Mediterranean and artichokes are a big part of their diet, the family has the method down pat. Last night we ate dinner at my mother in laws house, and we had a simple, but delicious treat--- Her whole artichokes and lemon.

Now, I can't say its really a recipe, but it is an experience. My mother in law brought a bowl of steamed artichokes to the table whole . Each person took one and put it on his/her plate, and then the fun began.
artichokes in a bowl on Gluten Free A-Z blog
Steamed artichokes ready to eat!

We all sat for about a full 5-10 minutes peeling and eating layer after layer of our artichoke. Artichokes have about 20 or more layers! You have to peel each petal, leaf by leaf , and only eat the tip after its been dipped in fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice! I shouldn't have made these pretty petal arrangements because in reality we just eat each petal tip, on by one, and toss it onto a plate and then discard. The pretty arrangement is just for affect. When it comes to eating an artichoke , each eater is on their own.


When you are all finished taking off the layers, you get to the artichoke heart which is the prize. ( first you have to dig out the little hairs from the center ( don;t eat the hair, you won't like it) A fresh artichoke heart  is so delicious and nutritious , it is worth all the peeling and trouble to get to it!

Yum! The middle is the best part; it's the heart of the artichoke
A whole unpeeled steamed artichoke is fun to eat, tastes good, and is nutritious too. 
I like them because they are very low in calories, very low in fat, high in fiber, and nutrient dense.
They are the perfect diet food. They take a long time to eat, taste great, and help you not overeat.

What could be faster to make and more fun to eat?
Just steam up a batch and everyone is on their own to dissect and eat their own artichoke. Even kids love them!
It's Fast, simple, fun, delicious nutritious, and low calorie! Now, we are talking!

How to steam the artichokes.
Place artichokes on a simple vegetable steamer rack ( available in  any kitchenware dept of stores lke TJ Max, Homegoods, maybe even the dollar store.) Put water in a pot , place steamer at the bottom fill with artichokes and add about 2 cups of water. Cover with lid, bring to a boil, simmer for about 20 minutes( check that water doesn't evaporate) until artichokes feel limp. Test by pulling out 1 or 1 petals which should come out without tugging.
To see the many other healthy gluten free recipes, healthy living tips, kitchen and blogging ideas that I pin each day, follow me on Pinterest Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .


  1. Artichokes have some interesting antioxidants and beneficial phytochemicals too, so they ahve health benefits not captured on the nutrition label.

    We don't really get affordable ones here in the Northeast, but I was reading an article that talked about the upper class of colonial Williamsburg ranking them as a marker of high status. Apparently, gentlemen who had sufficient resources had gardeners who babied them along all winter via various interventions.

  2. Stephanie,
    Thanks for all the great information about artichokes.

  3. It might be a crime for me to admit this, but I've only eaten a fresh artichoke once! I always by the canned hearts... so much easier to deal with. One day I'll tackle this project!

  4. Hi,
    This post is so informative. I would love for you to come
    share it at FAT TUESDAY. I hope you will
    put FAT TUESDAY on your list of carnivals to visit
    and link to each week!

  5. The very first time I made artichokes, I didn't peel enough away and then I used to the leaves to make artichoke mash. There were strings all through the mash. haha! Oops! I found this post very helpful because I still do not cook them enough today and when I do I tend to struggle.

  6. I love artichokes!! Your pictures made my mouth water. Thanks for sharing!

  7. OMG I LOOOOVE artichoke! I grew up having fresh artichoke a few times a year with my family, usually at festive occasions; my favorite way to eat it is dipped in homemade mayo with freshly ground black pepper, or in mustard, or in an italian style dressing. I've turned my husband into an artichoke lover, and even my 2 and 4 year old sons know how to eat artichokes all by themselves!
    Confession: I prefer my artichokes to be boiled and overcooked- I like them incredibly soft and waterlogged- they're easier to eat and you get more out of them and waste less.
    Warning- don't ever try to use the artichoke cooking water- its incredibly bitter!

    Thanks for linking up to the Hearth and Soul blog hop! Here, they're in season around April, right now they're incredibly out of season. Are you in the southern hemisphere?

  8. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. Hope to see you next week!

  9. Yum - I love artichokes - one of my favourite vegetables. I am presently eagerly awaiting the first of the spring artichokes which should be in our markets here any time now :-)

  10. Ya know, I've baked bread, make souffles, used to do a lot of canning ... but I've never been brave enough to take on an artichoke! Now I feel confident enough to try it -- thank you!!! :)

  11. I've never eaten a whole artichoke before. Thanks for the info and thanks for linking up at A Little Nosh!

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

  12. Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this! I have enjoyed eating artichoke many times, but I've never made it myself. Thanks for linking up on Recipes I Can't Wait to Try!

  13. We just love Artichoke,s and have them often. Your post is great! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you are having a great week!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  14. This was one of my favorite dishes when I was growing up. I loved how every one had to slow down and enjoy their dinner when my mom made artichokes. Thanks for sharing your recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.


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