Artichokes are wonderfully tender on the inside, easy to cook, and packed with health benefits! You can boil, steam, or grill them, and don't forget to top with parmesan panko bread crumbs!
I first had artichokes at Elways' in the Ritz Carlton, Denver for my birthday a few years ago. I was skeptical about them but my husband (then boyfriend) insisted I try them. He knew the secret. Artichokes are wonderful! I couldn't believe how tender and delicious the insides were. From then on if a restaurant offered them, I ordered one. Then one day, I saw them in the grocery store and figured it couldn't be too hard to make them, right? I looked up some different recipes online and I've been making them ever since.
So how do you cook artichokes? There are a few different methods. You can steam, boil, and/or grill them. My favorite it to boil, add a little oil and seasoning, and then grill them. The last step of grilling gives artichokes such a wonderful flavor and added texture. Layering textures is important to give artichokes a rounded flavor profile and essentially makes any food more delicious.
How to cook artichokes
There are a few different methods of cooking for these beauties:
How to cook artichokes: Boil
This is my personal favorite! The first step in any of these methods is to cut the stem short to the base of the artichoke and remove the outer (tougher) leaves using a serrated knife. Then use kitchen shears to snip the tops off each remaining leaf.
Fill a large pot with water and one lemon sliced in half, and bring it to a boil. Using a slotted spoon place the artichokes in the water and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. You can tell when artichokes are done cooking when the leaves can be pulled from the stem with little effort. Remove them from the water and let them rest until they are cool enough to handle. Using a serrated knife, cut the artichokes in half and scoop out the thistles in the middle with a spoon or melon baller. At this point, you can eat them as they are and dip them in a sauce for some flavor, or you can continue on to grilling (which is my favorite and adds more flavor).
How to cook artichokes: Steam
Ok, ya'll this method is an option, however, I highly recommend boiling them instead. When you steam artichokes, the flavor leaches out into the water below and they tend to come out bland.
BUT... in case you want to try this method, here's how:
Remove the stem, outer leaves, and snip the tips off the leaves. Add a few inches of water to the bottom of a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Put the steamer basket on top and place the artichokes in the basket. Steam for 20 - 30 minutes until the leaves easily pull away from the stem.
How to cook artichokes: Grill
Follow the steps above for either boiling or steaming the artichokes first.
Brush the halves with olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill with the flesh side down until they are heated through and have nice grill marks.
Parmesan Panko Topping
This is perhaps the best part (other than dipping them in butter) of eating artichokes! Toast some panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and grated garlic in a pan and use this on top of your artichokes.
Don't forget the butter!
Ok, guys, I can't give you all this yummy artichoke info without talking about the butter. Just melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small dish and dip your artichoke leaves in it before scraping the meat off with your teeth.
Picture this: a bite filled with crunchy topping, buttery goodness, and meaty artichoke! MMMMmmmm!
How to eat artichokes
To eat an artichoke, pull a leaf from the stem, dip in a sauce if you want, and scrape the meaty part from the end of the leaf with your teeth. Do this with each leaf. Do not eat the thistle in the middle of the artichoke.
The part around the thistle is the most tender and is called the heart. It's the best part of the artichoke and is often fought over in my house!
Nutritional Value of Artichokes
Artichokes are known to improve your health according to Organic Facts. They are natural detoxifiers and can improve your immune system, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and help your digestive system. Artichokes can also help prevent serious diseases like heart attacks and strokes. One medium artichoke provides 6.91 grams of fiber, 4.19 grams of protein, 76.8 milligrams of Magnesium, and 56.32 milligrams of Calcium.
There are so many reasons why you should learn how to cook artichokes. The best reason is that they are delicious! A close second is for all the health benefits associated with them. I hope you love them as much as I do!
- 2 artichokes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for grilling)
- 1 tablespoon seasoning (for grilling)
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic grated or crushed
- sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Parmesan Panko Topping
To eat an artichoke, pull a leaf from the stem, dip in a sauce if you want, and scrape the meaty part from the end of the leaf with your teeth. Do this with each leaf. Do not eat the thistle in the middle of the artichoke. The part around the thistle is the most tender and is called the heart. It's the best part of the artichoke and is often fought over in my house.