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Nov 2, 2001 12:58 AM

artichokes -- can you keep them green?

  • s

Cooked artichokes end up olive drab. Anyone know a way to keep them a nice green color?

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  1. b
    Brandon Nelson

    Acidulated Water...

    Add some lemon juice or vinegar to your water and the chokes will retain more of their color.


    1 Reply
    1. c
      Carolyn Tillie

      I disagree with Brandon's statement to a point. Rubbing freshly-cut artichokes with lemon juice will help them from turning brown but they will still turn drab olive green when you cook them. Professional chefs utilize a product that is essentially nothing more than powdered Vitamin C to keep vegetables bright while cooking.

      2 Replies
        1. re: 2chez mike
          Brandon Nelson

          You noticed that too?

          That, of course, would be the primary acid in lemon juice. Thanks for keeping the faith 2 Chez!


      1. Acidulated water is the standby...but they will still be olive drab...I have heard of putting milk in the boiling water, and you might consider baking soda, which will keep veggies green. Omit lemor or vinegar, tho. Vinegar and baking soda will be a lot of fun for all.

        1. As a former professional cook, I simply salted the water before steaming broccoli or before blanching green beans. It always works. I would suggest generously salting the water.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sonja
            Caitlin McGrath

            But you blanch those vegetables for a few minutes at most, while you'll be steaming an artichoke for more like 45, and therein lies the color-change problem, I'd guess.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Good point. How about this: Steam for a few minutes (2-3) with salty water, then move artichokes to steam in non-salty water until cooked. Might work.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                This cooking method oesn't totally fix the green color problem, but keeps the gray out and is much faster than steaming: use the microwave. I use a large wide, Pyrex measuring bowl(4 cups) deep enough to hold the veg, with handle. Put the artichoke in pointed side down, fill 2/3 full with water, plastic wrap the top with a vent. Put in microwave and nuke on high for 15 minutes + or -. Quick for one person serving and it doesn't get mushy or totally olive green.

            2. Can't guarantee anything here, as municipal water supplies are different in there hardness from place to place, but the addition of a Tablespoon of sugar to a large pot of boiling water and a Tablespoon of salt to same will assist in keeping the artichoke "evenly" cooked and, hopefully, a bit greener in color.

              "Don't OVER cook" is what someone told me once, as it will guarantee a drab color. Cook until "tender".

              When washing, use lemon juice to "break" the surface tension of water(this method also works well for broccoli, as the florets seem to repel water and the lemon juice lets the water run thru to help wash it).

              Happy Cooking and Good Eats.