Artichoke, read why you should include it in your recipes! It is delicious and healthy

Learn more about this versatile ingredient that perfectly complements the entire dish!

In our article, you will learn how to recognize a fresh artichoke from an old one, how to clean and prepare it, and then prepare it in several different ways!
Enjoy it, for example, as chips. Thanks to this article, you will learn how!

What is an artichoke?

Although the artichoke does not look at all pleasant, it is more reminiscent of a thistle, it is nevertheless one of the most sought-after vegetables with a relatively wide range of uses.

Artichokes require a bit of effort when it comes to preparation and cooking, but they provide a subtle nutty flavor that easily complements a variety of foods. Artichokes are used for main dishes, side dishes, appetizers and as an ingredient in dips and sauces.

A large number of artichokes in one place.

How to buy a good artichoke?

Choose one that is compact and heavy for its size. Stay away from any that are slightly purple in color or sprouting. These are signs that an artichoke is overripe. Many artichokes have brown spots on their leaves, these are usually just signs of frost and are still good to eat.

How to identify a fresh artichoke?

  • The leaves are firm and compact
  • The leaves squeak a little when squeezed
  • It is heavy for its size, which is a sign that it has plenty of juice and is not dried out

How to recognize a bad artichoke?

  • There is a hole in the middle and the leaves are loose
  • The ends of the leaves are frayed or shriveled, which is a sign that they are dried out
  • It’s light, another sign that it’s dry
  • It feels spongy when squeezed
Difference between fresh and dry artichoke.

How to consume an artichoke?

Heart: the whole heart is edible

Outer leaves: the leaves are not edible except for the pulp on the underside where they join the heart

Inner leaves: they do not have edible pulp on the underside and are therefore not edible

Stem: the outer layer of the stem is usually fibrous and tough, but the inner parts are edible and almost indistinguishable from the heart

The individual parts of the artichoke that are and are not edible.

Health benefits of artichoke

The artichoke is a plant native to the Mediterranean Sea. The leaf, stem and root are used to make extracts that are used to make medicines.

Artichoke is also commonly eaten as a food. It contains compounds that can reduce nausea, vomiting, cramping, and gas.

These compounds have also been shown to lower cholesterol and protect the liver and gallbladder. It supports the production of bile and detoxification of the body.

It is also used for high blood pressure, hepatitis C, irritable bowel syndrome and much more.

It is recommended after operations on the urinary system.

Health benefits of this crop, including vitamins and minerals.

Comparison of nutritional values in selected types of vegetables per 100 g

A type of vegetable Calorie Highest mineral content Highest vitamin content
Artichoke 197 kJ potassium – 370 mg, sodium – 94 mg vitamin C – 11.7 mg
Cauliflower 100 kJ potassium – 299 mg, sodium – 30 mg vitamin C – 48 mg
Broccoli 138 kJ potassium – 370 mg, sodium – 8 mg vitamin C – 87 mg
Asparagus 84 kJ potassium – 202 mg, sodium – 2 mg vitamin C – 5.6 mg
Cabbage 100 kJ potassium – 170 mg, sodium – 18 mg vitamin C – 36.6 mg

How to prepare an artichoke?

There are different ways to cook artichokes. Cooking, stewing, roasting and grilling are common preparations.

Whole artichokes are normally boiled in water or steamed.

The leaves are pulled from the artichoke, dipped in sauce or butter, and then the flesh of the leaf is consumed by biting the underside of the leaf and pulling it through the teeth.

Baby artichokes can be grilled or roasted. Unlike the regular artichoke, the whole baby artichoke is edible.

Cleaning – wash each artichoke under running cold water or immerse them several times in a container of water to remove dirt from under the leaves. Artichoke leaves are close together and can be difficult to clean.

Preparation – cut the stem of the artichoke at the stem so that it can stand easily. Use kitchen scissors or cut off the top tips from the leaves.

Using a sturdy kitchen knife, cut off the top 1/3 to 1/4 of the artichoke. Place artichokes that have already been cut into a bath with water and 30 ml of lemon juice or water and 30 ml of white vinegar. This helps eliminate browning, which happens quickly with artichokes. Leave them in the water until they are all ready.

How to prepare an artichoke step by step for further cooking.

Boiling in water

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the artichoke. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of whole black pepper to the water.

Also add the zest of 1/2 the lemon you squeezed over the artichoke earlier.

Add the artichoke to the water and weigh it down (artichokes float). Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a medium boil.

Cook gently for about 20 minutes. The artichoke is done when a knife inserted into the center offers no resistance, similar to a boiled potato. Allow to drain for a few minutes, feet up, before serving.

Cleaned fresh artichoke, ready to cook in water.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Wrap the prepared and seasoned artichoke in two layers of thick aluminum foil and seal tightly. The idea is for the artichoke to steam in its own juices.

Place the artichoke in the baking dish and bake for about an hour. When done, the knife should slide through the center of the artichoke without resistance, much like a baked potato.

Artichoke taken out of the oven and left in a white container.

Steam cooking

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Place the artichoke in a steaming basket and hang it over the boiling water.

Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium.

Steam for about 25 minutes. The artichoke is done when a knife inserted into the center offers no resistance, much like a baked potato.

Avoid checking too early or too often. Every time you remove the lid, steam and heat escapes and must slowly build up again, which can significantly increase the cooking time.

Cleaned and sliced artichoke in a pot ready to steam.

What is an artichoke good for?

Steamed artichokes have three edible parts: leaves, stem, and heart.

To eat the leaves, peel them one by one and scrape the soft pulp with your teeth. The leaves are delicious on their own, but they really aren’t complete without some sauce. Melted butter is a classic choice, and cream sauces are also delicious. Try serving them with our Caesar dressing or tartar sauce.
Once you’ve eaten the leaves, you’re left with the cup-shaped artichoke heart and stems. Both are juicy and delicious. So enjoy them with olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice or dip them in whatever sauce you served with the leaves.
Steamed artichokes are a great starter for spring recipes like this tagliatelle with zucchini and pancetta , pasta with pesto , or this spaghetti Aglio e Olio .
Artichokes are a great side dish. Pair them with asparagus soup or any meat you like.
Individual dishes to which these herbs can be added.

How to store artichokes?

Wrap each artichoke in a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Then store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They should last about a week.

Or store the artichokes in a plastic bag, spray them lightly with water, then place them in the freezer.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)