Alert
Close

You could save thousands with the AARP Auto Buying Program. Learn more

Highlights

Open

Most Popular
Articles

Viewed

Cooking Artichokes

Don't let the thorny spring veggie intimidate you. Try one of these 10 recipes

artichokes in a wicker basket

Artichokes in a wicker basket — Kröger/Gross/Food Passionates/Corbis

It's true, artichokes can be intimidating. It's easy to bypass them in the produce department for a vegetable that is a bit more accessible and a little less armored. But this member of the thistle family is good for you, deliciously versatile and easy to prepare with a few simple tips.

See also: Celebrity chefs share kitchen secrets.

Artichokes are high in fiber and minerals. They have antioxidant levels and chemical compounds that studies indicate can reduce cholesterol and aid digestion, as well as liver and gall bladder function.

Native to the Mediterranean, artichokes were brought to the United States by Spanish and Italian immigrants and are primarily grown in the coastal regions of California. A young starlet, Norma Jeane Mortenson, later known as Marilyn Monroe, was named Artichoke Queen in 1947 in Castroville, Calif., which bills itself as the Artichoke Capital of the World.

Artichokes are available much of the year, but are in their prime in late spring. Now is the time to start looking for a good selection in your local produce department and farmer's markets.

Selection:

Look for artichokes that feel heavy for their size, with sturdy stalks and leaves that are tightly closed at the tops.

Storing:

Artichokes dry out quickly once you bring them home, so store them in the vegetable bin in your refrigerator in a plastic bag.

Preparing: 

A sharp knife and a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors are the best weapons for conquering the artichoke. For large ones, cut off the stem flush with the bottom of the choke, then slice off an inch or so straight across the tips. Remove the tough outer leaves until you get to the inner tender ones. Cut off the thorny tips of the remaining outer leaves with scissors. Then cut in half, scoop out the choke at the center and dip in lemon water to keep from discoloring. Steam, boil or braise.

For artichoke bottoms, trim off all the leaves to the base, scoop out the choke and prepare.

Small artichokes are tender enough to be eaten whole and do not need the choke removed. They can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed or grilled.

Try these recipes for some new delicious spring dishes:

Artichokes Benedict

Watching carbs? Try this lighter version of eggs Benedict.

Artichoke Salad

This simple salad of arugula, artichokes and parmesan needs nothing more than a good olive oil for a satisfying starter or light meal.

Next: More artichoke recipes.>>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

SEARCH RECIPES

Enter an ingredient, course or keyword and get cooking!

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Denny's Ranchero Tilapia

Members save 15% all day, every day when dining at participating Denny's restaurants.

Dunkin Donuts

Members get a FREE Donut with purchase of a L or XL beverage at Dunkin' Donuts.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can locate discounts via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points