Artichokes are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and boast numerous health benefits. A variety of a thistle species, the artichoke is a great source of folate, dietary fiber, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants. But, how the heck do you even begin to cook them? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:
First, Prep It
First, snap or cut off the artichoke’s outer leaves, which will uncover light yellow leaves underneath. Get out a paring knife to trim about a half inch off both the top and the stem. You can cut as much or as little of the stem as you would like. Some people like to eat them, but generally, they taste bitter. You can also leave the stem on, cutting it after the artichoke is cooked. Rinse the artichokes in cold water, opening the petals slightly, so that the water is able to get inside.
Then, Let it Steam
Grab a large pot, filling it with two inches of water, and seasonings of your choice. Some recipes suggest adding a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon and a bay leaf to the water. Place a steaming basket on top of the pot and add the artichokes. Cover the artichokes with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 25 to 35 minutes, or until you can easily remove the outer leaves.
Or Boil It
If you would rather boil your artichokes, fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add your artichokes and bring the water to a boil again. Then, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Once again, you’ll know your artichokes are ready if the leaves peel off easily.
Or Put on Some Pressure
Using a pressure cooker can cut down on cook time. Place one cup of water and a steamer basket in your pressure cooker. Place artichokes in the basket facing up, and close and lock the pressure cooker lid. Adjust the heat to high bringing the cooker to high pressure. Cut the heat back to the minimum temperature required to maintain strong pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cooker from the burner and wait another 10 minutes, until pressure levels come down. Again, be sure to check those outer leaves to make sure your artichoke is fully cooked.