How to Prepare an Artichoke

Like most people, my knowledge of preparing artichokes pretty much extended to cutting off the top and chucking it into some water before boiling it…and if I remembered, well I also included some lemon and a pinch of salt. Sound familiar?

When I moved to Italy, my artichoke world changed forever. I learned how to properly pare an artichoke and get to the heart, which is really the prized bit in most Italian recipes. I also discovered how simple it was to remove the choke with a melon scoop (a technical Chef’s instrument to make those fancy little melon balls in breakfast buffets of the 1990’s). Just go into the middle of the pared artichoke and scrape along the inside walls to remove all that hairy stuff.

I have since discovered it is so difficult to explain the simple technique in words, so I created this little video to demonstrate how I do it. Don’t be shocked by how much of the artichoke is removed – most of that is too fibrous to eat anyway.

My basic way to prepare artichokes and get to the heart…which can then be preserved, roasted, steamed, grilled, braised or sautéed…

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Avatar Barbara Kunz says:

hey jack
do you have a good idea what to do with the less fibrous parts? I don‘t like to throw them away.

Jack McNulty Jack McNulty says:

Hi Barbara…I agree on the waste issue with artichokes. Just take the leaves and boil them in salted water until the good part is edible – anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Then dip into something tasty and enjoy!