Steamed Whole Artichokes

Artichokes! With this easy-to-follow steam and spices recipe for preparing artichokes, I hope you’ll reconsider these hearty flowers not as intimidating to cook, but as an accessible side dish for any entree.

I may be biased — I grew up eating artichokes — but I consider artichokes one of the tastiest vegetables. Of course, the Garlic Butter Aioli dipping sauce may have a lot to do with that!

My preferred artichoke, available locally, are the Lyon artichokes, which are in a league of their own compared to regular grocery store artichokes. The Lyon artichokes tend to have more meat on them, making them 100% worth the effort. Typically, we enjoy them for dinner with sausages or chicken and another simple side dish, such as mashed potatoes. If you can’t find the coveted Lyon artichoke, other varieties work perfect in this recipe and will still be tasty.

Send me a note with any questions about the recipe or how to eat artichokes (the heart is the best part!).

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 2 whole artichokes.*
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning.
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder.
  • 1 tsp paprika.
  • 1 tsp black pepper.
  • Garlic Butter Aioli:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter.
  • 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise (more or less to taste).

WHAT TO DO:

1. Cut the stems off the bottom of the artichokes. Turn them over. Using kitchen shears, trim the spiny leaves by cutting off the tips only, less than a fingertip in length.

2. Using a wide pot big enough to fit both artichokes stem side up, add the seasonings. Place the artichokes stem side up over the seasonings and fill the pot with water until the artichokes are covered about halfway. A drizzle of Olive Oil in the pot is also recommended, but not required.

3. Place on pot on the stove with lid. Turn the stove to medium high heat, bringing the water to a boil. Once boiling, turn down just a touch and set timer for 45 minutes. Check periodically to make sure the water isn’t boiling over or has evaporated too much. The artichokes should remain half submerged in water for the duration of the cooking process. If the water has evaporated too much, add some more. Keep the lid on the pot while cooking, this is what builds up the steam that cooks the artichokes.

4. About 10 minutes before artichoke are finished cooking, make the dip. Melt the butter. Once melted, whisk in garlic powder and mayonnaise to taste. Whisk vigorously to emulsify mayo and butter. For a low fat serving option, try eating plain or with olive oil.

5. Artichokes are done when tender when pierced with fork. Remove from water and place face down on plate to drain. Once cooled a bit, turn face up. Remove leaves one a time to eat, dipping in Aioli as desired. To access the artichoke heart, eat (or remove) all leaves, exposing the inside. Here you’ll find spiky hair-like area. Remove all the hair. Do not eat, as it can cause irritation and choking. Once all spiky hair is removed, you can eat the heart! Dipping heart in Aioli is highly recommended.

Recipe Notes:

*This recipe is intended to serve two people, eating one whole artichoke each. Adjust the recipe as necessary for your household. If you haven’t eaten many artichokes, make one to share by cutting the rest of the ingredients in the recipe in half.

Author: Lauren Harvey

Creative writer, home cook, SLO Life Magazine Health writer and wife always making, learning and finding new adventures. Living by grace. Prone to wander.

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