Sauteed Artichokes

My favorite way to prepare artichokes, this recipe comes after tweaking it several times.


  • 3 artichokes, or 1 per person, plus an extra for good measure.
  • 3 cloves garlic, or 1 per choke
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • 2 lemons
  • extra virgin olive oil

Saute the artichokes

  1. Prep the artichoke hearts (see below). When you are done, each heart should be sliced lengthwise into 8 wedges.
  2. Briefly saute the rosemary and garlic in extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Add the artichokes directly from the lemon bath. Let the artichokes cook until the moisture dissipates and they begin to sear slightly. The garlic will also start to brown, but don't worry! It's good.
  4. Once the chokes begin to sear, you are almost done. Move the artichokes around to make sure they are cooked throughout. Taste one: it should be firm but easy to bite into. It should not be soft as in steamed or boiled artichokes.
  5. When they have finished, add salt. The effect here is almost of adding salt on a fried food, like french fries. The salty taste should be on the surface of the chokes, rather than cooked into them.
  6. After you put the artichokes in a dish, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the top. This is an important step!!

Prepare the artichokes

This has become my preferred method for dealing with artichokes. It's probably a sin, and I do feel some guilt, but I toss all of the leaves. You could reserve the leaves for soup stalk.

The only needed implements are a good serrated knife and a good chef's knife.

  • Prepare a large bowl of cold water.
  • Squeeze the juice of 1.5 lemons into the water. Drop the lemon rinds into the water. Reserve half of one lemon to squeeze over the dish after cooking.
  • You may find it helpful to first remove a few of the outer leaves, but it's not absolutely necessarily in this method unless you're having trouble cutting the artichoke in the next step.
  • Using the serrated knife, cut the top half (or more) of the artichoke off. Goodbye.
  • Take one half of the lemon rind floating in your lemon bath and squeeze it all over and into the exposed choke to avoid discoloration. From now on, every time I use the knife to expose more of the artichoke heart, I will dip the entire thing in the water bath or squeeze lemon juice over it.
  • Using the serrated knife, placing the artichoke on its side, cut off the outer leaves where the heart meets the outer leaves. Usually this is between the yellow and green leaves. You are trying to get to the heart. Cut more of the outer leaves off as you turn the artichoke until you only have the heart left. Don't forget to dip in the water.
  • You know have an exposed heart, but there are still some tough green leaves at the base. Using the chef's knife, make a cut toward the stem. You don't have to remove the leaves yet. Right now you're just loosening. Make sure not to cut into the heart.
  • Cut off the base of the stem, just enough to remove the discolored bit.
  • Using the chef's knife, holding the artichoke stem-side up, slice just the very outside of the stem to remove the outer layer (as if you were using a vegetable peeler), and then into the leaves at the base. Because you've loosened the leaves at the base in the previous step, they should come right off. Turn the artichoke to continue peeling the stem.
  • You know have just the heart and cleaned stem. Using the chef's knife, quarter the heart lengthwise and throw all pieces in the lemon bath.
  • Remove one of the quarters. The prickly artichoke "choke" (made up of the fuzzy stuff and the hard, sharp leaves, sometimes purple in color) is exposed and easy to get to. Using the chef's knife, cut it out, being careful not to cut into the heart or remove the leaves of the heart. Cut the heart lengthwise in half again. Return to the lemon bath. Repeat with the other quarters. When you are done, you should have 8 pieces, stems attached. Whew!

Useful YouTube videos using similar cutting methods:




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