How to Select Artichokes

The most important thing to look for when selecting artichokes are leaves (actually called bracts) that are tightly packed. When you squeeze an artichoke, a fresh one will give off a little squeak. If instead the artichoke feels squishy when squeezed, it’s past its peak freshness.  The leaves should be vibrant green in color.

Artichoke sizes vary. Big or small, just be sure to choose ones that are heavy for their size. Keep in mind that larger artichoke take longer to cook.

When are Artichokes in Season?

Peak artichoke season is from March to May in the US, depending on the weather and climate. For artichoke lovers, this is a great time of year! It’s worth noting that artichokes can be purchased in stores pretty much year-round.

Varieties of Artichokes

There are three main types of artichoke: the globe artichoke, the Jerusalem artichoke and the Chinese artichoke.

The globe artichoke is the most common type found in supermarkets. Globe artichokes have a mild flavor, with hints of nuttiness and earthiness. They also have a pleasantly crunchy texture.

Jerusalem artichokes are sweeter and nuttier than their globe counterparts, making them perfect for salads or roasting.

Chinese artichokes have a distinctively creamy texture and an intense nutty flavor that makes them ideal for use in stir-fries or as part of a flavorful stew.

Depending on which type you choose, artichokes add flavor and complexity to dishes that are worth trying!

Artichokes Nutrition Facts & Benefits

1 medium artichoke (128g) provides, 

  • approx 60 calories
  • 0.2 grams of fat
  • 4.2 grams of protein
  • 13 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1.3 grams of natural sugar
  • 7 grams of fiber

Here are just a few of the many ways that artichokes can benefit your health:

1) Artichokes contain high levels of dietary fiber which can help to regulate digestion and promote healthy gut bacteria.

2) Artichoke extract has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health.

3) They are rich in folate which helps with cell repair and metabolism.

4) Their high levels of flavonoids provide anti-inflammatory properties.

5) Artichokes can be beneficial for weight loss due to their low calorie content and dense nutritional value.

How to Store Artichokes

Artichokes are best when eaten right away. However, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Before you put them in the fridge, slice a small sliver off of the stem (about a dime’s width), sprinkle the stem end with water, and then wrap it in a plastic bag.

Leftover cooked artichokes can be stored covered in the refrigerator — just be sure to cool then completely before storing. They will keep for up to five days this way. Reheat in the microwave or the oven.

How to Prepare Artichokes

Artichokes are a versatile vegetable that can be used in many different dishes. There are some simple steps you need to take to prepare artichokes for cooking to get the most flavor out of them.

To prepare artichokes, begin by cutting off the stem about 1 inch from the base and then slicing off the top third of the artichoke. Pull off any tough outer leaves, then cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the fuzzy center (the choke) and discard it. Now your artichoke is ready for further preparation or cooking.

If you are roasting artichokes, preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking dish with parchment paper. Rub the artichoke halves with olive oil and season as desired. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.

If you are steaming artichokes, use a large pot with an inch of boiling water and a steamer basket inside it. Place artichoke halves in the basket, cover and steam for about 25 minutes (or until tender when pierced with a fork).

To fry artichokes, heat a 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut your artichokes in quarters lengthwise then dip them in an egg wash before dredging in flour. Fry artichokes, flipping occasionally until golden brown and crispy.

Using one of the above preparation steps, artichokes can be added to salads, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas and more. Enjoy!

How to Serve Artichokes