Choosing your artichoke:
Artichoke season is here, and will maybe-hopefully last until mid to the end of May. The rounder and fatter the artichoke, the meatier it will be. Makes sense, right? Once you’ve picked through the first half of leaves, the inside leaves are almost all edible, delicious flesh. The thinner, sharper pointed artichokes are going to leave you scraping your teeth with very little reward. At the market, choose an artichoke with a longer stem, those will be the newer and healthier artichokes. If the stem is really short, chances are the supermarket has been chopping the stems shorter, to appear newer and greener, but they’ve just been in the market longer.
// Cutting your artichoke
You’ll need:
a knife (any knife will do, I prefer a serrated knife, it slips less against the waxiness)
kitchen sheers (or really, any scissors)
1. cut stem off base so that artichoke can sit flat.
2. slice artichoke about one inch from top.
3. depending on variety of artichoke you have, you will need or not need to trim the remaining sharp peeks to make artichoke more manageable while eating. With this fatter, rounded variety it wasn’t needed, but with the skinnier artichokes, it’s almost always necessary.
More after the cut. 

// Preparing your artichoke:
-If you like garlic, feel free to hide a few (or a ton) of slices (or whole cloves) throughout the leaves of your artichoke. It’s not at all necessary, but it’ll make any garlic fan happy to find some garlic on their leaf.
-You can slice up some lemons to squeeze on top of your artichoke and place in your water. This may or may not help with browning, but it does seem to keep the artichoke a bit more tender and add a touch of extra flavor.
// Cooking your artichoke:
-fill a large pot with about two inches or so of water. Don’t bother measuring your water, just stick your fingers in and the water should sit just below your knuckles.
-place artichoke right side up in the middle of your pot. You can steam more than one at a time, if they fit in your pot.
-bring water to boil.
-place lid on top, and lower water down to a simmer.
-allow to simmer and steam for about 40 minutes— cooking time will vary on size of artichoke.
-to test doneness, simply pull off an outer leaf. If it pulls off easily, it’s done. If you need to tug a bit, allow to steam longer.
-drain water.
-serve with your favorite dressing.
// Eating your  artichoke:
peel off one leaf at a time, dip bottom in dressing and scrap off meatier bits with you bottom teeth. As you get closer to the center, more and more of the lead will be edible. Once you get to bottom, you will find the fuzzy part, the choke. Scrape off the fuzz and you’ll find yourself an artichoke heart!
I usually mix olive oil, lemon juice, a touch of sherry vinegar, garlic, whatever fresh herbs I have lying around— basil is preferred–, salt, pepper, and a touch of honey and whiz it all together with my immersion blender.
But really, you can use any dressing you prefer. You can even mix mayo and lemon together in a bowl to serve 🙂


A fair amount of people have been asking how I prepare an artichoke and it got me thinking… I had to google the crap out the right way to cut, cook, and even eat an artichoke when I first decided to try one out (only a few years ago!). Cooking an artichoke, as easy as it is, isn’t very common knowledge, so if you don’t know, now you know! Simple enough, all in one place, right? I have a few more easy food related DIYs coming up. &While I still don’t really plan on posting too many recipes just yet on this blog, I think it makes sense to maybe share some fun and quick cooking tutorials, that I wouldn’t necessarily put in a book 🙂 I hope you like them!


  1. Myself and friends were just in Barcelona. We had an apartment, so cooked all our own meals. Whilst at the market we picked up a bunch of artichokes to add to a tapas-type meal, then released we had no idea how to prepare them. then i remembered about this post you did. Lunch was saved! thank you.


  2. I just made my first artichoke tonight for my hubby n I after the kiddos went to bed ! After seeing this post and thinking looks easy enough ! It was ! Thank you ! : )

  3. I just made my first artichoke for me n my hubby tonight after the kids went to bed ! After seeing this post and was like that looks easy enough ! It was ! Thank you !

  4. I've always wanted to make this ever since I saw Julie & Julia – but I could never find a recipe for how to make it. I've made 2 artichokes in the past 3 days. Delicious! I made mine with hollandaise though – which of course you don't eat. But thank you for posting the recipe! The artichokes at my store I think aren't as fresh or a different variety because they are more green/purple as opposed to your green/yellow artichokes.

  5. Ooh, I am going to try that with the garlic. I am in CA and we just lop off the top, trim the stem, and steam that sucker, then we pick and dip away.

    I would love vegan dip ideas… I am not even a little vegan, but I do eat meat rarely and really do love your recipes.

  6. I went searching through your other food posts for the link to the pot you bought off amazon. Do you still have it? I can't find them in stores here in Cincinnati! All of your recipes I have tried have been amazing btw.

  7. Oh my gosh, I asked about artichokes just the other day and here it is. I found your blog through the A Beautiful Mess home tour and I've been obsessively reading it since then. I just love you and Marlowe and Jerry and now I love you even more. Next time I find artichokes, I'm going to get them and try again. Definitely going to stuff them with extra garlic too 🙂 Thank you.

  8. Your posts have actually been making me crave artichokes but I, of course, have noooo idea how the hell to make one. BUT, now I do! I'm going to try one out this weekend. I'm excited to see more food tutorials! 🙂

  9. I make my artichokes with garlic and lemon too, but we don't own a stove/oven due to eating a pretty high raw diet and not wanting to spend the money on something we'd hardly use, so I throw these babies in the crockpot for 4-5 hours on high when I'm really wanting some artichokes!

  10. I am so glad you shared this! Perfect timing, as I bought an artichoke because of the one you posted in your brunch day. I love artichokes, but don't think to buy them. So thank you thank you for this helpful way to cook them. I had it on my list of to do/ to research.

  11. Thanks Drea, this was really useful as I'm growing them this year, and they are quite scary things to prepare. I don't think mine will be that big though – that was a beauty! Here in England we just don't get very many, and certainly not huge fat ones like that.

  12. Perfect! Except now I have to add artichokes to my shopping list this weekend 😉

  13. Thanks! This is great. I have been wanting to cook more artichoke, but messed it up once and then was afraid of them; this looks do-able and delicious! Gonna be trying this!

  14. I'm much less afraid to cook them now. Thank you! My mom used to serve these with dinner just about all the time. Mmm…with a mayo curry dip.

  15. This is amazing.

    I've always been terrified of whole artichokes & the cooking thereof but you make it sound so easy! I think I may actually try this.

  16. <3 <3 <3 <3

    As a lifelong west coast native you would think I'd grown up with this knowledge, but I honestly only MASTERED cooking an artichoke last year! We just had some great ones on Monday night. 😀 This is lovely. Hopefully it will make people less afraid of cooking artichokes.

    • As a life long east coast native (with a short one year arizona stint) I am so incredibly jealous of your ability to grow artichokes.

      also, look! We're bonding over healthy food!

    • One of the reasons I want to move to Monterey is because it truly IS the artichoke capital of the world. Well, Salinas, technically, but that's just over the hills from Monterey.

      YES! Healthy food bonding! Although … wait a minute … one other thing about Monterey: there is NO shortage of deep fried artichokes. And they are GOOD.