Artichokes are funny looking plants that most people tend to pass up on at the grocery store. This is because a lot of people don’t know how to prep an artichoke. When they do consume artichoke, it’s typically in the form of an already-prepared dip or a jar of artichoke hearts.
While spinach artichoke dip or jarred artichoke hearts may be delicious, they don’t really provide all the amazing benefits that whole artichokes do. In fact, most of the powerful health benefits of artichokes lie in their leaves.
These health benefits include:
- Fights cancer
- Fights cardiovascular disease
- Detoxes the liver and digestive system
- Rich in fiber, which helps weight loss efforts
- Helps control diabetes
- Good source of iron
- Improves skin health and appearance
With all these wonderful health benefits, it’s worth learning how to prep an artichoke for easy and safe consumption.
How to Prep an Artichoke
If you’ve never seen an artichoke, they’re easy to identify once you know what you should be looking for. Artichokes typically come in a globe shape with spiky, pointed leaves all around the exterior. These spiky leaves typically make artichokes look intimidating and prevent cooks from simply tossing an artichoke onto a baking sheet next to other vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or brussels sprouts.
Prepping an artichoke simply requires a few easy steps. Once you’ve accomplished these initial steps, you can effortlessly roast the artichoke in the oven for a tasty appetizer or side to your entrée.
1. Slice off the stem and top of the artichoke
Artichokes have thick stems at their base, so use a sharp knife to remove most of the stem at the base of the artichoke. You’ll also want to cut off 1/4 of the artichoke from the very top of the artichoke. Simply place the artichoke on its side, then move your knife down 1/4 of the way, starting from the top, and slice to remove the top portion of the entire artichoke.
2. Snip off the pointed ends
Use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip off the pointed ends on each artichoke leaf. This is simple to do but tends to be the most time-consuming aspect of preparing an artichoke.
3. Remove the choke
With the artichoke balanced on whatever’s left of its stem, take your knife and cut straight through the middle of the artichoke so that it’s split in half vertically (not horizontally). Use your knife or a spoon to dig out the choke, or the hairy part in the center.
Roasted Artichokes Recipe
Once you’re prepped your artichoke, you can easily turn it into a scrumptious side dish or appetizer by roasting it in the oven. Here’s a foolproof recipe for enjoying artichoke:
- 1 large artichoke, prepped and trimmed
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 a lemon
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or a sheet of foil.
- Rinse your prepared artichoke then pat dry with a paper towel. Place the artichoke halves on the baking sheet, with their cut-side facing up.
- In a small pan, melt the unsalted butter. Add the crushed garlic clove to the butter and allow the garlic to swirl around in the butter over low heat for about 30 seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Remove the garlic from the butter, then drizzle about a tablespoon of butter over each artichoke half.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice over each artichoke half, then add a couple grinds of sea salt over each half plus 1 grind of pepper.
- Roast the artichoke for about 20 minutes before flipping the artichoke halves over and roasting for another 10 minutes.