How to Eat an Artichoke

Artichokes are scary. With all those tough spikey leaves they look like they just want to be left alone.


So, I usually buy them in a can. But, there are piles of fresh artichokes at the grocery store right now, so I swallowed my fears and tried steaming them. They turned out great!

how to eat artichokes

fresh artichoke(s)
1 peeled clove of garlic
bay leaf

1 stick butter
1 minced clove of garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

1. Rinse the artichoke in cold water.

2. Using a big honkin’ knife, slice 3/4″ off the tip of the artichoke. Remove any small leaves from the base of the artichoke. If you’re feeling fancy you can trim the end of each outer leaf.

3. Rub a slice of lemon on the cut leaves of the artichoke leaves so they don’t brown.

4. Put an inch of water in a pot with a garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice and a bay leaf. Insert a steaming basket and put the artichoke in the basket with the stem side down.

5. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Simmer for 25–45 minutes or until the leaves pull off easily and the stem is tender when pierced with a knife.

6. Place butter, minced garlic, garlic salt, italitan seasoning, black pepper, and parmesan cheese in a microwave safe container. Microwave until butter has melted and stir well.

7. Dip each leaf in melted butter and scrape the meat at the base of each leaf off with your bottom teeth. Discard the empty leaves. Work your way from the outside leaves in to the middle. Don’t eat the hairy flower in the center, scoop that out with a spoon, and underneath is the artichoke heart—the most delicious part! Warning: Have lots of napkins on hand. Butter will dribble down your chin!

This was my first attempt at artichokes. So, I want to know—how do you eat artichokes?


  1. Monika

    I’ve never eaten artichoke, but after your post I think I’m gonna try. I will go to the local market and look for these strange … I don’t know … vegetables??? I think it is vegetable, but like a cauliflower – it is a flower, isn’t it??? I must read about that. But you’re right – they were scaring me with their look. But I will fight my fobia :) thanks for posting!

  2. Wit & Whistle Post author

    Haha, I googled yesterday to see if they were considered vegetables, and yes, they are! I’m glad you are going to try them. They weren’t nearly as scary as I thought. ; )

  3. Renae

    I love artichokes! I had no idea others found them so odd.
    At my house we like to keep it simple, trim them up, steam them and eat them with either ranch dressing or melted butter.
    I’ll have to try adding a little more to the butter next time!

  4. Rachel

    I love artichokes. We eat them often at my house, any time I find them on sale. I dont even bother trimming the leaves at all. I just cut off the stem on the bottom and throw them into a pan of boiling water for 45 minutes. I like this way you have shown with steaming! I am going to try it. I usually melt some butter and mix it with garlic salt, pepper and some fresh lemon juice.

  5. Ann-Marie

    My Italian family has been making these for generations. I try to stuff a piece of sliced garlic between every leaf, then drizzle with olive oil, then add salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then place them in a roasting pan with a little water in the bottom. Cover the pan and roast for about an hour at 350, or until the leaves pull off easily. I only recommend this recipe if you really love garlic, though! The leaves are delicious, but the heart is a delicacy!

  6. Amanda

    I used to just steam the artichoke s but recently discovered if you polsh them in hot water for 40 min and then grill until blackened a bit with some butter, garlic,lemon juice and a dash of salt for the dip AMAZING

  7. Pam Price

    We have been eating artichoke since I was a little kid. They are a member of the thistle family. My dad dips them in mayo. When I cook them I usually boil them stem side up so water does not accumulated in the leaves. Less mess when you pull them apart.

  8. James

    Raised a vegitarian, now 61, I’ve eaten artichokes all my life. Unless you’re source is Castrovile,CA, Costco’s chokes can’t be beat. Evolution has taken our process to; chopping off the top, cutting the stem off flush with the bottom, removing some smaller leaves and triming the thorns from the leaf tips with scissors. We have two individual artichoke racks that fit a covered pan side by side for steaming. Place in standing up. (A fold up steaming rack also works great.) Water to bottom of chokes with one or two lemons squeezed over chokes into center & leaves (screened to keep out seeds), toss spent lemon rinds in bottom. I grind about four or five garlic cloves over top of chokes and we push a fistfull of rosemarry down into the water with the lemon rind and garlic carcasses. Worcester sauce (optional) over chokes and in water is good too. Peel the cut off stems and toss in water. They are most often wounderful eating, but not always. Lid on & low simmer for 45 minutes. Test bottoms with toothpick just like a potato. Toothpick will go in easy, no hard spot. We always eat with mayo. The wife likes to spice her’s up with hotsauce. For those who have never had before, you scrape the meat off each leaf, pulling the leaf between your teeth. Outer leaves are toughest. Once you get down to the soft, tender leaves that you can’t scrape anymore, pull the whole top off. This should leave the center of the flower, the pith (like fuzz) that you scrape out carefully with a spoon. Sometimes fingers work but it may be hot. What’s left is just the “meat” which is the bottom of the artichoke. Eat it like you wish, diced up or just bite in. You have reached nirvana. Enjoy, for you are now adicted.

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