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Your favourite thing to do with artichokes...?

I love steamed artichokes with a bowl of melted butter. I love them SO much that I rarely consider that there might be other, equally delightful things one might do with them. What kinds of artichoke-y goodness should I know about?

(note: probably obvious, but my question is about fresh artichokes, not the marinated jarred ones)

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    1. re: OCAnn

      the mayo dips and aiolis are better with cold artichokes.

      1. re: sgwood415

        They are pretty darn good with hot ones, too!

    2. Personally, I've never had a stuff-done-to-it artichoke that was anywhere near as good as just plain steamed and eaten with dip of choice (I'm counting calories, so I'm using nonfat yogurt with a few drops of garlic olive oil and some crushed garlic).

      I tried roasting one last week, and it just dried out the leaves and made more of them inedible. Stuffing I've always found to be disappointing, because of the difficulties of actually eating the stuffing and the artichoke at the same time. I'm sure others will disagree!

      1. Yeah, I am solid on the steamed and dip, I like a tad of ranch as a dip and now that I have read what ruth said, makes me think, hum...a little truffle oil in the butter?

        I think these are lilies that should not be gilded.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Quine

          They're not lilies, they're thistles. Don't gild the thistle.

        2. I love artichokes so much that my father once calculated my annual artichoke budget.

          I cook them in the microwave- put in a pyrex bowl with about 2 inches of water, place all in a plastic bag, tie it at the top, nuke for 8-12 minutes, depending on size.

          The "dip" I make is melted butter, Veg-E-Sal and mayo. I don't know how I came up with it, but it's my favorite.

          7 Replies
          1. re: cheesemonger

            Questions: What kind of plastic bag? Zip-lock? Grocery? ? What speed do you use on the oven: full (high) or _%? I'm anxious to try it. TIA

            1. re: mnosyne

              Sorry that I didn't check back....

              I use a grocery-type plastic bag, and tie it at the top. It puffs up while cooking, so the plastic doesn't rest on the "choke. It steams in the bag, and you don't have all these drippy wet leaves like you get when you boil them. Full speed ahead!

                1. re: cheesemonger

                  I've read that it's BAD to use plastic in the microwave -- that includes bags, esp., and plastic containers. chemicals are leeched out or something. I microwave in glass with waxed paper and most of the time now store food in glass containers.

                  1. re: walker

                    I use pyrex as the container- I just make a "bubble" with the plastic bag- it doesn't even touch the food. I agree about nuking things *in* plastic.

                    1. re: cheesemonger

                      I wish I could remember exactly where I read about this, but the article said that heating with plastic in microwave produces bad droplets of chemicals that seep into the food. Is it possible to use waxed paper, instead?

                      1. re: walker

                        Seems to me the wax would melt into/onto the artichoke.

                        I use a wet paper towel. Drape it over a washed artichoke, and microwave for 6 minutes. More or less time depending on the size, I suppose, but 6 seems to work for most artichokes.

            2. I have to agree, I don't think there's a betterw ay to eat them than steamed and dipped. I watch cooking shows where they braise them, fry them, slice and stuff them and all I can think is "I can't believe they're getting rid of all those leaves!"

              So, if you want to mix it up a bit (no pun intended), just try some different dips! Here's what we like:
              1. Butter, minced onions, lemon juice (by the time the butter gets melted, the onions are softer)
              2. Mayo and ketchup (the ketchup adds some sweetness that highlights the artichoke's sweetness)
              3. Miracle Whip, simple but sweeter than plain mayo
              4. Butter and garlic (like the butter and onions deal)


              1. I like to take the fresh ones , trim them, cut them up and cook them until there are soft
                then blend them and make a cream soup out of them like broccolli or colliflower.I like
                steaming hot enough to burn your mouth. very good soup.

                3 Replies
                1. re: bigjimbray

                  Just finished one - had some at dinner last night and finished it today for lunch - It charred at steaming last night which created a roasted kind of essence. I resteamed and dunk in fresh melted unsalted butter, garlic and a sprinkle of Molly McButter - a dash of coarse salt would have been better along with a dollop of sour cream w/the garlic butter but, next time! YUMMO! try a bit charred or roasted on the barby. :)KQ

                  1. re: bigjimbray

                    do you just toss the leaves and only use the heart? i'm always a bit confused about this. (I know you can eat the leaves too - but wondering for a recipe if you're only supposed to use the heart.)

                    1. re: dtud

                      Marinated, steamed in the marinade + water, and served with some lemon pepper mayo.

                  2. Steamed and dipped in sour cream with a little bit of dijon mustard and fresh dill stirred in.

                    1. I have always been a steamed artichoke kinda gal until recently. My boyfriend and I started experimenting with grilling artichokes and it has been a delicious adventure. We learned the hard way that you still need to steam the veggie for about 15 minutes before it's grill ready but the extra step is well worth the effort. If you don't steam it first you'll just burn the leaves way before the heart cooks. And hello, everyone knows the heart is the best part. After you've steamed it, cut it in half long ways and drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. From there, put the artichoke on a hot grill with the leaves side down, leaving the flat side face up. It should only take about 7-10 minutes on each side. I'm still working on still working on dipping sauces, the classic butter with a little lemon peper is still my personal fav.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: RebJaeBoe

                        I like the flavor that grilling gives but I generally am eating them before dinner and may not be grilling, so steaming is the method of choice. I like mayo with lemon pepper, additional garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

                        1. re: RebJaeBoe

                          I do generally do a straight up steam and eat with drawn butter - however, if I want to be fancy, I do something like RebJaeBoe.

                          Partially steam/boil the artichokes (about half the time you'd do to fully cook). Cut in half lengthwise, marinade in Italian dressing or a vinaigrette or your own concoction, for up to 24 hrs. Grill till done!

                          For dipping sauce, if you're moving away from plain butter - we have really liked a 50/50 mix of pesto and mayo.

                        2. I like to braise them, halved and chokes removed, with lemon chunks, mint, and garlic.

                          1. I love them anyway I can get them but these are my three favorite ways:
                            Steamed with a dipping sauce made from blue cheese, lemon juice, garlic and oil
                            grilled-quartered, scrap out the choke, wrap them in foil with fresh basil, garlic and a touch of lemon juice, then put them on the back of the grill and cook until done
                            stuffed with a mixture of sausage, bread, marinara sauce and sharp provolone

                            1. I like to buy the 'baby' artichokes, actually side buds, then trim them down and simmer whole with water, lemon juice, and slivered fresh mint leaves. Bite sized, yum yum.

                              1. I love making stuffed artichokes as a main course but for us they need to be a weekend dish. I use the "North End Italian" cookbook recipe but it's pretty basic. You need to soak the artichokes in water for 30 min. to clean out the dirt. Trim (and save) the stem and the pointy leaf tips. Make a stuffing out of fresh bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, and parsley. If I have it around I also add a mixture of sauteed prosciutto and onions. Salt, pepper, and enough olive oil to moisten. Pack the mixture in between the leaves of the artichoke and set them in a pot with a cup water, some salt, and a few halved garlic cloves. You can throw in the peeled stem, too. It tastes like the heart. Steam for 45 min. and serve warm, not hot.

                                Too time consuming for everyday but the stuffing is delicious and it can make a complete meal.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: rockycat

                                  Why soak them? I've never had a problem with dirt in artichokes. They should never come into contact with dirt, at least not in a way they would get dirt between the leaves like leeks or spinach.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    In my garden, one of the earwigs' favorite places to hide (aka plan their attack on the green beans) is in the artichokes. So I always shake artichokes out and soak them if I plan to use them whole. I haven't seen too many earwigs in store- or farmers' market-bought artichokes, but some harbor the "dirt" they leave behind.

                                2. Like others, my favorite way is just plain steamed with a dipping sauce.

                                  But here's a very good alternative, from "Vegetables," by James Peterson. Baby artichokes, trimmed, and simmered in water and lemon juice until done. Toss with a mixture of melted unsalted butter, minced garlic, and flat-leaf parsley. I like to cook the garlic just a little bit in the butter, to soften but not color. As Peterson notes, it's like escargot, but with artichoke hearts instead of the snails.

                                  A nice, make-ahead addition to a buffet. Or part of an antipasta appetizer or light lunch. Goes over well with my crowd.

                                  1. I get lots of artichoke in season in California so like to buy and eat them. I don't like to just steam them because sometimes, to me at least, it has a strong herbally taste. And I don't like to dip in butter because that's unhealthy. So I usually will steam them for about 15-20 minutes and then grill them on a grill pan with olive oil and sea salt. The slight crispyness from the grill marks makes a nice contrast to the soft heart.

                                    This year I've also started to use the heart thinly sliced fresh in dishes like pasta and risotto. I've found that it's an interesting texture. I also made it into a salad that I really liked and will probably do again. (http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...) I just think it's fun to do something different instead of just steaming or stuffing.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: singleguychef

                                      Yeah, sometimes if you don't handle them carefully (or even if you do), some of that nasty artichoke sap gets into the steaming water and then is reabsorbed into the artichoke. Artichokes are the one thing I use veggie wash on, to minimize that happening. A woman selling artichokes at a farmers market once told me her mother put artichoke sap on her hands to keep her from biting her nails!

                                    2. My Nonna (RIP) used to quarter and take out the choke, then sautee in olive oil and garlic for 5 minute-ish, then add water and braise until tender, about 20 more minutes. They soak up the garlic and get tender and taste amazing, and I'm sure they're healthier this way than with all that butter and -- gasp -- Miracle Whip (sorry, I'm Italian, and that's anathema to me, but to each her/his own!) . I never get why books say to remove the stem, either -- it's soft and sweet just like the heart. Just cut off the end and maybe peel. I'm gonna go make one right now!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I am a plain dipped in butter kind of gal...sometimes a little squirt of brown mustard in the butter is a nice combo too.

                                        1. I love artichokes also! However I am not a found fan of steamed artichokes. I either eat them right out of the can or I use them in pastas mixed with olive oil and other fresh veggies or of course for DIPS! Spin and art dip is my favorite!

                                          1. I recently had an amazing artichoke heart appetizer in a restaurant that I was able to recreate at home--roasted baby artichoke hearts with melted morbier and topped with a poached egg. I roasted the baby artichoke hearts (even used frozen ones, thawed, which worked fine) in olive oil and minced garlic. When done, I topped with slices of morbier, then put back in the oven till the cheese melted. Then topped with a poached egg. Really, really delicious and different.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Marge

                                              I'm a huge fan of steaming them and dipping in homemade hollandaise. Been my absolute favorite since I was a little girl.

                                            2. I steam them without even trimming them. The spines soften in the heat.

                                              1. Though I love them, I'm terribly lazy about steaming artichokes and don't do it. What I love are baby artichokes - remove the tough leaves and stem, quarter, sautee in olive oil for about 8 minutes on high - they get nice and brown, add some lemon juice, salt and pepper, cover and cook until tender. Absolutely delicious. Nice tossed with some fava beans as well.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  yes, baby artichokes are my favorites too, mostly for the ease of handling but the tenderness too. More of the inner leaves are tender enough to eat.

                                                2. I french them, cook them on medium for over an hour (one of the only few vegetables I like to overcook and I hate artichokes when the meat does not slide off easily between your teeth) with half a lemon (including rind), 2 cloves garlic and a little Kosher salt. This is the sauce we use and everyone always loves it:
                                                  one part melted butter
                                                  one part Best Foods mayo (note lite)
                                                  fresh squeezed lemon juice
                                                  Melt butter and add lemon juice. Add mayo and stir with a fork until holllandaise consisency. Can make about an hour ahead and don't refrigerate.

                                                  1. Just caught an artichoke recipe online that sautes arti-choke hearts in olive oil, marsala wine, red pepper flakes and garlic until tender ... then transfer to a baking dish and top with bread crumbs, feta cheese and bake til bubbly...sounded so easy and delicious!

                                                    I think it was Everyday Italian on FN...

                                                    1. Just read through all the responses and was surprised no one mentioned Carciofi alla Giudia - - Jewish-Style Artichokes - I've never met an artichoke I didn't like - steamed, stuffed, big, small - and our 2 months in Rome in Jan/Feb 05 made me a firm convert to deep fried artichokes...........I've tried to master them at home but haven't quite succeeded....but the trying has been fun!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: ElizabethS

                                                        Carciofi alla Giudia >> oh yeah!!!! my must have dish in NYC at Trattoria Del Arte. I could eat them every meal, every day.

                                                        But making them them at home is a bit intimidating. My understanding is that they work best with a particular varietal of artichokes from Israel? no?

                                                        1. re: orangewasabi

                                                          Hi - I made them at home with whatever type of artichoke we get in Toronto (from California I think) - they weren't as good as a Rome Restaurant but I think that had more to do with my technique than the actual artichoke? I better go back to Rome for another lesson!

                                                      2. Grilled. Halve the artichoke and grill cut-side down. Right from the grill, drizzle with garlic butter so it gets between the leaves. The grilling kills some of the bitterness (cynarin) and you can drink wine with them cooked this way.

                                                        1. Like ctscorp, I ADORE them done in the traditional italian sense. The braising like mentioned with finely chopped garlic and parsley is delish and the cooking juices are so good I end up redipping the leaves in them.
                                                          Other ways:
                                                          small artichokes: halve, remove chokes, blanch, cool, dip in egg and then flour; fry til golden add salt OR use the blanched ones to make an oil based pasta sauce, adding chopped prosciutto OR braise whole, garlic, parsley, EVOO and sea salt

                                                          large artichokes - stuff with prosicutto and garlice and parsley and braised OR if you can get really young and tender ones, flash fry like in the jewish section of Rome and serve with aioli and lemon wedges that have been fried

                                                          1. Well, here's a recipe from this month's everyday food. I made it as it was in the magazine and it is delicious. It's a healthy recipe - healthier than the standard dip.

                                                            2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts in water, rinsed and drained
                                                            1/2 cup light mayonnaise
                                                            1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
                                                            1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
                                                            1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
                                                            1 scallion, minced
                                                            plus more for garnish
                                                            crudites for dipping

                                                            Preheat oven to 425. In a food processor, place half the artichokes, the mayonnaise, Parmesan, lemon juice, and garlic. Process until smooth.

                                                            Add scallion and remaining artichokes; pulse once to combine. Transfer mixture to a 1-quart baking dish. Top with remaining Tbs. Parmesan.

                                                            Bake until golden and bubbling. 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with scallion and serve with crudites or pita chips.

                                                            The lowdown on this recipe
                                                            It was pretty tasty. I would serve it to a certain type of guest. Healthy minded, vegetable-loving people. My husband wouldn't touch this stuff with a 10-foot pole. But a lot of people would. It has a lot of flavor and won't cause extra fat, and that's a good combination.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. You guys are fantastic. I'm definitely going on an artichoke spree this spring! Thanks so much for all the great suggestions.

                                                              1. I love them baked- Italian style.

                                                                First, steam or poach them in boiling water with lemon juice and a little EVOO. Cook until almost done.

                                                                Drain. Trim stem end so it lies flat.Cut off about an inch off the top. Trim ends of petals to remove points. Remove the "choke" completely and scrape out the cavity.

                                                                Make a stuffing. I sometimes use prepared stuffing in a bag mixed with Italian Sausage and some cheese, or just Italian sausage and bread crumbs, parsley and cheese.

                                                                Stuff the center cavity and place a dab behind each petal. Tie with butcher's twine to keep the petals closed. Drizzle with EVOO and bake in a 400 oven until the stuffing is brown and crisp.

                                                                Serve hot. Remove the twine before serving. Place a small plate next to each person's plate for the discarded petals.

                                                                1. I'm an artichoke-aholic. The only way I'll eat them is steamed, then dipped in Hellman's(best foods) mayo. It takes a perfectly healthy food and adds fat! Awful, I know - but - everybody has their guilty pleasure I guess! There are some fantastic ideas here from everyone - - Happy Artichoking!

                                                                  1. I add lemon slices and peppercorns to the water. After they steam I expand them a bit and drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over them. Place in the fridge to cool down and then enjoy. The oil and vinegar seeps in and adds perfect flavor. It also penetrates down to the heart, I will add a little extra once I slice the heart. This is simple and full of the real flavor.

                                                                    1. In general, I'm a straight-up-steamed-artichoke-with-Best Foods-girl, but after my recent tasting of Kewpie mayo with arti, I might have a swayed allegiance. That MSG infested stuff is just great. Almost on par with Best Foods. Try it. You might like it.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: srr

                                                                        I love simple artichoke perparation. Cook the hearts in water with a bit of salt, peppercorn, lemon juice, onions, and bouquet garni. Once they are tender, serve with chopped lemon confit and an added sprits of fresh lemon juice. It's one of the most popular party dishes.

                                                                      2. I guess my way is the old way... but this my favorite way. And I am not a fan of stuffed artichokes.
                                                                        Artichokes submerged in lemon water with lemons quartered, fresh garlic - 4-5 sliced, lots of sea salt, 4 pepper corns crushed, and about 2T of olive oil. Depending on the size and usually they are large, 2 to a pot, cook for 45 minutes on a simmer.
                                                                        Serve with lemon, garlic aioli sauce, happy dipping!

                                                                        1. When they are inexpensive, I buy a dozen or so, break off the hard leaves, cut them in half to remove the chokes, then braise them in water with lemon juice, bay leaves, garlic cloves and whole peppercorns. When they are done, I drain and cool them, then pack them tightly into a glass jar with fresh thyme and rosemary, maybe some lemon zest, and cover completely with extra-virgin olive oil. They keep for several weeks, and are so good on my arugala salads or alongside a summery plate of proscuitto, the first tomatoes of the season, and a chunk of Reggiano.

                                                                          1. Fry artichoke hearts (or split baby artichokes) in good olive oil and sprinkle them with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.
                                                                            Also, blackened artichoke hearts are fabulous. There's this great Marcella Hazan recipe in which she blackens artichokes by letting them blister in an olive-oil napped pan and then tops them with fresh mozzarella. Heavenly!

                                                                            Does everyone know how to "turn" artichokes? (Removing the leaves before cooking, leaving only the heart and stem?) It's a revelation!

                                                                            1. My favorite is steamed with Seven Seas Creamy Italian as a dip. The creamy italian is great on asparagus, avocado, and tomato as well.

                                                                              1. I like to make artichoke risotto by steeping the artichokes in a cup of heavy cream for about 30 minutes. Season to taste. Cool and run through a blender. Make risotto and finish it by stirring in artichoke cream.
                                                                                I have used leftover artichoke cream as a sauce for pasta. Very good.

                                                                                1. Love love artichokes! One of life's pleasures would have to be finding beautiful artichokes at a really cheap price.

                                                                                  Lots of great ideas here, I especially want to try ctscorp's Nonna's method of saute-then-braise.

                                                                                  I usually steam. My favorite dip is olive oil with cider vinegar, about equal parts, with lots of s&p. Also sometimes really crave melted butter with lemon juice and s&p.

                                                                                  This set off an artichoke craving, again.

                                                                                  1. I've loved artichokes since I was a young kid ... I guess I just liked to play my food but I learned to cook for myself when I was about 8 years old and my artichoke recipie has always been one of my favorites to share with people who've never tried this great "veggie".

                                                                                    Chop off the top and stem of the artichoke and trim the stem so that the artichoke sits flat. Brush the cut leaves with lemon juice to retard browning.

                                                                                    Steam the artichoke upside down for about 30 minutes.

                                                                                    Hollow out the center of the artichoke so it doesn't have any of "junk" inside. Use a tablespoon/teaspoon to scrape all the way down to the heart and make sure you get all fuzz out from this sides (this takes a bit of work, but can be done in about a minute per artichoke). You will lose a few of the small inner leaves, but they don't have much of the heart, if any, attached to them.

                                                                                    Fill your artichoke with your favorite dipping sauce (even butter) and serve 'em up. I like to do one artichoke per person for small gatherings and a group of three or four for a party appetizer. The thinner the sauce, the more quickly it will spill out on to the plate or bowl that the artichoke is served in/on. My favorite sauces are butter, cheese and for a real treat you can try bernaise (Knorr's makes a wonderful Bernaise packet that I've never been able to duplicate and it's soooo easy).


                                                                                    1. the purple ones are better for this, i didn't like it as much with green artichokes at end of season, too old.

                                                                                      for stuffing: coarsely chop black olives, green olives, parsley and garlic together.
                                                                                      for artichoke - slice off bottom so they sit flat, cut off top third, remove outer leaves and then stuff with the olive mixture.

                                                                                      and then put in pot with parsley stems and bay leaf. fill water an inch and half or so and cover and steam for 40 minutes.

                                                                                      1. I love to make this spread. I will roast lots and lots of garlic and then I add cream cheese mayonaise, place it all in the blender - then add some chokes, pulse for creamy smooth consistency add a little kosher salt and cracked pepper.
                                                                                        Add artichoke rough cut chunks and put into a small baking dish top with finely grated romano and black pepper. - Bake at 350 till it is bubbling hot. Then serve with fresh sliced baquettes make a nice olive bread, slice and serve! You can add grape tomatoes to the last few minutes of baking also, don't over cook them just long enough to wear they sort of collapese...

                                                                                        Also another nice way is to make an artichoke bisque...good stuff!

                                                                                        1. Been eating artichokes since I was three or four...twice a year my family would drive down to the Monterey area from the Bay Area and on the way back we'd stop in Castroville and buy a bag of 20 (!) big chokes for $1.00...
                                                                                          Anyway, to this day I eat them steamed with lemon halves, crushed garlic cloves and olive oil in the steaming water...Best Foods mixed with L&P and a little dollop of Dijon works great as a dip...

                                                                                          1. There is a great recipe in Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" for roasted artichokes with thyme and bay leaf...very simple prep (paraphrasing): trim and quarter several large 'chokes, toss with EVOO, S+P, a sprig of thyme and several bay leaves, roast at 400 degrees for about 30 min covered then 20 min uncovered. Sounds rather unexciting but the roasting infuses the chokes with the flavor of the herbs and causes some brown crisping and caramelization of the tips of the leaves...*unbelievably* good!!