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How to eat an artichoke

Here’s a breakdown of how to prepare and eat this delicious spring thistle.

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Artichoke anatomy

 

Peaking between March and May, artichokes are a delicious spring vegetable. If you’ve never enjoyed them fresh — don’t be daunted by their thorns. Here, we break down the parts of an artichoke — and provide an illustrated guide to proper preparation, so you can find out what you’ve been missing.

Anatomy of an artichoke

Tiny thorns: These sharp tips prove the artichoke is part of the thistle family.

Outer petals: Choose artichokes with very few tough outer leaves and a tightly closed top. (When they’re not tightly closed, the artichoke has begun to dry out.)

Heart: Artichoke gold; it’s creamy and delicious when cooked.

Stem: The peel is tough, but the inside tastes just as good as the heart.

Choke: True to its name, this inedible hairy section will stick to your throat. Scoop it out with a melon baller or spoon before cooking.

How to trim an artichoke

How to eat an artichoke: Snip off thorns, pull away outer leaves, peel stem.

Snip off thorns, pull away outer leaves, peel stem.

 

How to eat an artichoke: Cutting and scooping

Cut artichoke in half lengthwise and scoop out choke.

How to eat an artichoke

How to eat an artichoke: Once cooked, pull off a petal and dip into melted butter.

Once cooked, pull off a petal and dip into melted butter.

 

How to eat an artichoke: Scrape teeth against the petal base to eat the delicious pulp.

Scrape teeth against the petal base to eat the delicious pulp.

More:
8 spring vegetables about to come into season
The art of the artichoke: our favourite recipes
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