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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

The Best Way to Cook Artichokes



“Eat green,” is probably one phrase everyone has heard -at least once- growing up. There’s really no match to the benefits that green vegetables offer our bodies.

Known as the ultimate source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, green veggies have proven themselves time and time again.

Amongst the different green veggie options, there are artichokes.

Multiple Artichokes

You have probably seen artichokes sitting calmly at your grocery store or at a farmer’s market. Their appearance is the major reason why people tend to take a back from this glorious vegetable. Possessing a strange, spiky look, it is normal for individuals to have different opinions when it comes to this veggie.

Luckily, there is nothing to worry about. Truth be told, artichokes are quite easy to prepare and cook. In fact, the entire rinsing, trimming, seasoning, and the cooking process takes 10 minutes or less. With this positive thought in mind, you can move on.

What To Do

There are many different ways to cook artichokes. They can be sautéed, steamed, and boiled. Although all methods are easy and have their own prepping procedures, nothing tastes as good as roasting them. If you want to extract maximum flavor out of your artichokes, roasting them should be the first option.

If you are a first-time artichoke eater (or even a regular artichoke eater), roasting is a method you should try. It is a whole new experience with its caramelization that creates a subtle woody yet sweet flavor leaving your taste buds to tingle.

The crispiness of the artichoke leaves complements the creamy, soft core beautifully. In simpler words, you will forget you are taking a bite of food —it is going to taste like heaven in your mouth.

If you are blessed with good weather on your side of the world, you can consider grilling this magical vegetable as well. Grilling artichokes will add smokiness to your veggie that can be paired beautifully with fluffy mashed potatoes.

The recommended (and most reliable) way of roasting artichokes is with lemon juice, garlic, salt, and compound butter. The best part is that all these ingredients are probably already in your home, so all you will have to do is combine them and create a delicious concoction. The richness of these ingredients will elevate the taste of the artichokes.

Now that you are aware of why you should roast your artichokes, let us make things easier on your end and tell you how to do so.

Step 1 – Preheating

Before doing anything, you need to make sure your oven is preheated to 425 F so the temperature is perfect for you to start roasting.

Step 2 – Rinse

Make sure your artichokes are washed well. All the dust and contaminants should be removed from the leaves properly. When done, dry the artichokes with the help of a paper towel.

Step 3 – Trim

Artichoke stems are not edible and are really hard, which is why you need to cut ½ of the artichoke stem. Be careful, do not cut off too much or you will lose the heart of the artichoke. You will also need to trim ¼ inches from the top of the artichoke so you are removing the sharp leaves. This way you will also allow your vegetables to look cleaner.

Next, use kitchen shears to cut the tips of the leaves off. Once the artichoke cooks, the leaves become soft and loose, making it easy for you to peel away from the center. Trimming the leaves of the artichoke will give it a restaurant-like appearance while making the peeling process simpler.

With the help of your hands, tug around the artichoke so the leaves begin to loosen from the center. This opens up the artichoke so your yummy concoction can get absorbed into the leaves. The more the artichoke leaves are open, the more flavorful your artichokes will be.

Then, you can cut your artichoke down the center in half.

Step 4 – Cutting the Center

To cut the center of the artichoke (including the purple leaves), you will need a small, sharp knife. The center of the artichoke is too sharp to consume, therefore, you need to make sure you are taking off all the sharp leaves.

Step 5 – Add-In the Flavors

Prepare a sheet pan with foil and place your artichokes on it, faced up. Then, in the middle of each artichoke, place a garlic clove. The garlic should be big enough to perfectly fit where the sharp leaves used to be.

When that is done, squeeze the juice of half a lemon on the artichoke and rub the remaining lemon on its surface. Top it off with a drizzling of melted compound butter and sea salt, to taste.

Then, turn your artichokes over and follow the same procedure again.

Start Roasting

Let the artichokes stay faced down and cover them up with foil. Covering them with foil will make sure they are not burning from the outside during the time they are being roasted. You will have to roast them for 35 to 40 minutes at 425 degrees. After the time is over, you can flip the artichokes over and get mesmerized by their rich color.

Dig In

Now that your artichokes have roasted, it is time for you to start eating them. For extra flavor drizzle freshly squeezed lemon juice on top and dip the artichoke in butter. The best part about roasting artichokes is that they can be wonderfully paired with pasta, soups, any dips, and so much more. There are no restrictions.

Even though artichokes are not as easy to prepare and cook as other springtime veggies, they are worth all the effort you put into roasting them because of their rich, unique flavor. The entire process pays off when you get to eat the crispy leaves with soft interior paired with a strong flavor. Once you begin eating artichokes this way, it will be hard for you to even think about eating them any other way.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Rhonda Richardson, Editor

Rhonda grew up with parents who gardened, hunted, fished, canned, and preserved food. Her mother was a professional cook and Rhonda credits her teaching everything from how to make homemade biscuits and gravy to what kind of meals to serve for different occasions. In the kitchen, Rhonda uses a mix of old-fashioned country cooking and up-to-date fads in the kitchen, often experimenting with replacing higher-calorie or fat ingredients with healthier options that still retain the delicious flavors of the originals.

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