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Mar 20, 2008 04:51 PM

Artichokes the proper way to make them?

I love them and I have one to make I like it when you put it with dressing and eat like a salad that takes 2 hours to eat. but I don't really know how to boil it and how long it is pretty big. Thanks

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  1. I like them steamed, with herbs and lemon slices in the water, length of cooking depends on the size. I will test them with a toothpick through the stem/heart. Try after 20 min, then every 5 until done.

    If you want to boil, season the water with some dried herbs, salt, lemon slices, garlic, add artichoke, cook, using the toothpick test. A bamboo skewer will work too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Alan408

      My ideal utensil for testing testing and removing things from the pot is a fondue fork.

    2. I steam mine -- big ones take 45-60 minutes. They're done when you can pull a leaf off easily. Dip each leaf in lemon butter before dragging it between your teeth. When you get down to it, remove the prickly choke with a spoon, cut the bottom up, and dunk the pieces in the lemon butter. Yum!

      16 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca

        This is how my family taught me to do them. I love this method. I also really like the grilled artichoke they serve at Houston's. I wish I knew how to grill them. Anyone?

        1. re: alliebear

          In order to grill a choke it needs to be steamed first and it's better off being done with a smaller choke. Cut in 1/2 before steaming leave the stem on but peel any brown spots off, remove the fuzzy center, steam to almost cooked, remove and let cool. Make a marinade, what ever you like and let the chokes sit in it about 1/2 hour. Put on a hot grill cut side down turn after a few minutes, needs no more than to carmelize and heat thru.

          1. re: tastelikechicken

            Thanks. I'm going to try this next time I buy artichokes. Any suggestions for a marinade?

          2. re: alliebear

            Steaming first is the way to go. The only thing I find you need to be careful of is that you don't steam them too much or too little. Too much and they will fall apart as you put them on the grill; too little and the leaves stay hard. I've found it best to leave them whole, steam 45 minutes or so and test by pulling off leaves. When they're JUST done, take them out, cut in half lengthwise and put them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Salt, pepper, olive oil and some italian seasoning (maybe some seasoned breadcrumbs and grated parmesan too).... then onto the grill for quick char. m-m-m-m!

          3. re: pikawicca

            I remove the choke at initial preparation prior to steaming. Prep includes cutting off the top, removing choke, removing too-tough petals, and slightly peeling the stem.

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              And absolutely best done in the microwave.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                In the micro, do you wrap the choke in plastic?

                1. re: pikawicca

                  The chokes go into a glass bowl, cut petals down and stem up, covered with plastic wrap. I won't do them any other way now.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      One medium sized takes 5 - 6 minutes. Three or four can take up to 10 minutes. You MUST experiment a bit with the tiimes and numbers of artichokes using your microwave and artichokes. The artichokes I get here can be about the same size but are finer featured than the ones from Watsonville (artichoke capital of the world).

                      Tip for others: select artichokes by stem thickness. Artichokes of the same size but with thicker stems will have more meat.

                        1. re: eLizard

                          Yes. The water that remains after giving them a final rinse after trimming.

                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          It's actually Castroville (not all that far from Watsonville) that's artichoke capital of the world.

                          The microwave is genius for cooking artichokes fast, I agree.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            That's what being away from home for more than 35 years will do to you.

                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      There is a good recipe for microwave artichokes in “TOUT – SUITE á la Microwave” by Jean K. Durkee.

                2. I have always been stumped by artichokes. How do you get the choke out without wasting the good stuff. Do you steam it first? Or is it just a little itty bit of good stuff?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sarah galvin

                    Cook the artichoke first. The easiest way to eat it is to peel off the leaves one-by-one, remove the center (very easy to do with a spoon) and eat the delicious bottom. Or, you can steam it, then carefully spread the leaves away from the center and remove the prickly bit. Then you can slather on a stuffing of your choice. I go for the simple approach -- just steam the sucker and dig in. The tops of the leaves have a thin layer of wonderfulness that is best enjoyed by dipping the leaf in lemon butter or homemade mayo. Then you put the leaf in your mouth and drag it through clenched teeth. the delicious pulp will be left in your mouth, and you discard the rest of the leaf. When you get down to the bottom, you've reached the best part, and the easiest to eat. Artichokes are worth the trouble it takes to get to know them, and the season is just getting geared up.

                    1. Mmmm. Artichokes are really good right now.

                      I prepare them by cutting off the stem until there is about an inch of stem left and then cutting off the top of the leaves (I just slice an inch off the top of the whole thing. I don't bother cutting each individual leaf and what's up w/ lemon juice on the cut leaves? Who cares if they brown a little: you're not going to eat that part).

                      Put them in a large pot w/ one inch of water in it. Put the artichokes in the pan and make sure they stand up in the water. Bring the water to a boil, bring to a very low simmer and cover. In 45 minutes (for a large 'choke), pull a leaf off and set it aside to cool for a few seconds. Scrape it w/ your teeth: is it soft and tasty and "scrape-able" or is it bitter and resistant? If it is the latter you'll need to give it a little more time.

                      Don't eat the itty, bitty outermost leaves, just the ones w/ a creamy look to them. When you've eaten all of the leaves you can, pull off the remaining leaves and nibble the bottoms. Scrape out the choke w/ a spoon and eat the heart. We like them dipped in mayonnaise around these parts.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MollyGee

                        I rinse mine and put them on a steamer basket. I don't cut ANYTHING off or add anything. The steam makes even the thorns tender. I steam til I can pull a leaf out easily. I eat the outside, then pull the cap off the heart, eat around the edge, pull the smaller cap off, eat the edge, scrape out the choke and eat the heart. My favorite food. I have been eating them since I could scrape the meat off with my little teeth.