With a little effort, you can enjoy the unique flavor and nutrient-packed goodness that is the artichoke. Here’s how:
1. CUT THE PETAL TIPS
The thorny ends will soften when cooking, but this process opens up the petals and removes any doubt of biting into a sharp tip. Removing the tips also makes it easier to open the artichoke when cleaning it.
2. REMOVE THE TOP OF THE ARTICHOKE
Cut off ¾ to ½ inch of the tip of the artichoke.
3. REMOVE THE SMALL PETALS AT THE BASE
Pull off any smaller or undeveloped petals at the base of the artichoke and on the stem.
4. CUT OFF EXCESS STEM
Leave about 1 inch of stem. It’s a matter of personal taste, but the stem tends to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke. If you’re preparing a stuffed artichoke, removing the entire stem will help keep it stable, first on the baking sheet and then on the plate.
5. FOR STUFFED ARTICHOKES
Remove and scoop out the purple leaves and hair that cover the artichoke heart. Artichokes discolor pretty quickly once they’ve been cut, so store them in lemon water if you aren’t using them right away.
6. HEARTS ONLY
If your recipe calls for only the heart of the artichoke, the steps are a little different. After removing all the artichoke’s petals, slice the heart in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the purple petals and hairy portion covering the heart.