There is something nostalgic about eating artichokes, but one thing is certain, they never go out of style.
Artichokes are a true delight, and when cooked whole they make a perfect snack or side. Its petal-shaped leaves are captivating and its rich “meat” and tender core are incredibly satisfying, perhaps this is why the ancient Romans highly regarded artichokes and considered them a food fit for nobility. They might look a bit intimidating to prepare, but they’re frankly very easy to cook no matter if they are steamed, boiled, roasted, grilled, or cooked in any other way.
Artichokes range in size from jumbo to baby, and are often cooked whole, although only some of their parts are edible. In larger artichokes, the base of each leaf is gifted with a soft and creamy flesh that’s enjoyed by breaking the leaves off one by one and scraping the base between your teeth before discarding each leaf. Disclaimer, the outer leaves tend to be a bit tough and the purple-tinted leaves at the very center can be prickly, so it’s best to avoid them.
Artichokes’ other edible portions are the stem and heart, which is reachable past the inedible fuzzy choke. Baby artichokes require less prep and are tender enough to excel in quick-cooking methods, plus more of its parts are edible.
How to Steam Artichokes
Steaming is one of the most common ways to cook artichokes. It locks in flavor and keeps them tender. Be mindful when removing the lid from the saucepan, as the steam is very hot.
- Place a steamer basket in a saucepan with a lid and add enough water to reach the basket (about 1 inch of water should be enough—the water should not go above the basket.)
- Bring water to a boil over high.
- Add the prepped artichoke (see above) resting upright in the steamer basket and reduce heat to medium-high. Cover and steam until an outer leaf can be pulled and removed without resistance, about 30 minutes depending on size.
- Remove the artichoke from saucepan and set aside until cool enough to handle.