Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How to cook and eat globe artichokes

November and December are a time of year we really look forward to. We have apples, boysenberries and my favourite vegetable, globe artichokes available from our garden. I rave about artichokes to people and so many say "But how do you cook and eat them?". Well, here's how my Dad showed me and it's delicious.

First, pick the artichoke when they're fairly big but before they start to flower. They flesh out lots as they grow but if you pick them too late they'll be too stringy and less tasty. Cut them just below the globe, leaving maybe 10mm of stork on.

Then boil them immersed in water for about an hour with the lid on. To test whether they're ready pick a petal from low down on the globe and taste it. This is done by putting the petal in between your top and bottom teeth and scraping off the flesh at the lower end of the petal. If it's still hard to chew it's not ready yet.

When it's nearly ready put some knobs of butter in small bowls and microwave until melted.

Remove the artichokes from the water when done and serve. Place a large bowl in the middle of the table for discarding eaten petals and the choke. Now dig in.

Simply pick petals and dip them in the butter. Most of the lower, bigger ones have some 'meat' on them, the smaller ones higher up have less. When you've eaten most of the petals, stop before removing them all. If you do this you'll get into the 'choke', the upper part above the heart. This part will choke you if you eat it, hence the name. 
This part should be removed, as should the stringy stork below the heart. Remove the stork with either a sharp knife or kitchen scissors.
Then remove the choke by cutting horizontally between the choke and heart with a sharp knife, as below.

Discard the choke and eat the heart, smothered in melted butter!

They work really well as a starter, but not a main as there's not that much to them.

Have a go, it's the ultimate umami taste...


  1. Thanks for the guide.
    Very interesting plant.
    I just bought a pot of globe artichokes - it had about 10 seedlings in it for $4, so good value.
    They seem to be still alive after a pretty brutal transplant, and all the rain here in Sydney has helped I think.
    Really looking forward to the harvest, and using your technique.

  2. well I would never have figured that out myself! that's the funny thing about growing veges that you would never buy regularly, when you end up with them in the garden you have to use google to find out how to eat them. I sure this description will become a very useful resource!

  3. We cook our globe artichokes in a dish in the microwave: 16 mins for four, 10 mins for two and 7 mins for one (recipe courtesy of the Reader's Digest Microwave Cookbook). We eat them as described above but with cheese sauce instead of butter. I learnt this way of eating them in a very poor, rural area of Brittany more than 50 years ago. It is a very favourite dish with all my family, a lovely sociable, eating activity.