How to Pick the Right Artichoke
Look for artichokes with tight leaf formation and a deep green color. They should seem heavy for their size and the leaves should squeak when squeezed together. Avoid artichokes that are dry-looking or have split leaves.
Store unwashed artichokes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Tip: Generally, the smaller the artichoke, the more tender it will be. However, plump, round-looking artichokes tend to have a larger heart, which is the sweetest part of the artichoke.
Wash artichokes just before cooking. If you wash artichokes before storing, the moisture could cause them to spoil more rapidly.
- Fill a large stainless-steel or enameled pot with 1 inch of water
- Place a steamer basket inside the pot
- Bring the water to boiling
- Using tongs, place artichokes, stem side down, in the steamer basket
- Reduce heat to simmering, cover the pot, and allow artichokes to steam about 20 to 25 minutes or until you can easily pull out a leaf from the center of artichoke
Tip: Be sure to use a stainless-steel, enameled, or other nonreactive pot to cook artichokes to prevent discoloration or off flavors.
- Peel the artichokes
To eat a whole cooked artichoke
- Break off each leaf one at a time
- Dip the leaf into melted butter, mayonnaise, or some other sauce and draw the base of the leaf through your teeth to remove the tender portion
- After all the leaves have been removed, scrape off the inedible prickly “choke” to expose the inner artichoke heart
- The heart is now ready to cut into pieces and enjoy!