artichoke health

All About the Artichoke

Don’t let the unusual exterior intimidate you. This leafy vegetable is easier to prepare than you might think—and delicious, too.

By Rebecca Heaton

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Artichokes are rich in potassium, vitamin C, dietary fiber and magnesium.

Step 1: Prepare

First, rinse the artichoke under cold water. Next, with a sharp knife, cut off the spiky leaf tips—about a half-inch to an inch from the top—and trim the stem about a half-inch. Open the leaves a bit, too; this will help the choke cook more effectively.

Step 2: Cook

You have several options, but the most common methods are boiling and steaming.

Boil: Stand prepared artichoke in a deep saucepan or pot with 3 inches of boiling water. For flavor, add a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch or two of kosher salt. Cover and boil gently 30–45 minutes, depending on size.

Steam: Place prepared artichoke in a double boiler. Cover and steam 35–45 minutes, depending on size.

Step 3: Eating

An artichoke is ready to eat when a sharp knife goes through the base with ease, or a petal near the center pulls out easily. Pull off an outermost petal and dip the base into your favorite sauce. Try melted butter with crushed garlic and lemon. Pull the petal through slightly clenched teeth to remove the soft, tender flesh at the bottom. Continue pulling off petals and eating. Once at the fuzzy choke, scoop it out with a spoon—don’t eat it!—and cut the remaining artichoke heart into bite-sized pieces, dip and enjoy. Discard petals and fuzzy inside to compost.

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