Food

How To Show An Artichoke Who's Boss

Put those stuck-up, fleshy pine cones in their place with your awesome knife skills.

Posted on

Artichokes, man.

Via food52.com

They're too sassy for their own good, what with the spines and the furry bits and the stalks and all kinds of entrapments designed to prevent you from enjoying the tender deliciousness that lies at their core. But NO LONGER should you let them sass you. Follow these steps to take control of the situation and show artichokes what's what.

Before you do anything, squeeze half a lemon into a bowl of water.

Via food52.com

You'll submerge your prepped artichokes in here, and the acid will keep them from blackening. (Save the other half of the lemon — it'll come in handy soon.)

Next, slice or snap off the woodiest part of the stem (like you would an asparagus).

Via food52.com

Then, using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel away the tough outer layers of the stem.

Now it's time to take out the choke.

Via food52.com

The choke is the hairy, pointy-looking bit inside the heart. You can take it out now OR after cooking, if you'd rather. And if you're using cute little baby artichokes, don't even worry about the choke — you get to skip this step.

But if you're planning to braise, fry, or stew your artichokes whole, don't stop yet.

Via food52.com

You'll need to remove all the tough, dark green leaves, too. Keep pulling leaves till you get down to the supple, lighter colored ones, and pare away any tough spots from the stem.

Food52 is a community for people who love food and cooking. Follow them at Food52.com and on Twitter @Food52. Or, get answers to your burning food questions with our new (free!) FOOD52 Hotline iPhone app.