The first challenge to preparing an artichoke is finding a good one to eat. Artichokes usually begin appearing in grocery stores late spring and remain available throughout the summer, with prices increasing late summer. I usually find the prettiest and largest artichokes early summer. They have larger heads with tight leaves, a pretty green color and almost no blemishes. As the season progresses, the quality of the artichokes decrease but you should still look for these same qualities to find your ideal artichoke and you never want to buy artichokes that have large blemishes and molding spots.
To prepare an artichoke, you must first decide if you will be eating the whole artichoke or just the heart. In this post, we will be preparing the whole choke for boiling or steaming.
Preparing a Whole Artichoke
- Wash the artichoke.
- If the stem is long, remove and cut to a size that will fit in your pot. Set aside.
- Place the artichoke on a cutting board. Holding it tightly at the bottom, use a serrated knife to remove the top 1/3 of the artichoke. Discard these leaves.
- Using a pair of kitchen sheers, cut the tips off of each of the remaining leaves. Be carefull here since these leaves are often quite pointy.
- Rub the cut tips with lemon or other citrus to help prevent browning. If allergic to citrus, no worries; the browing is not harmful.