With their tightly-packed layers and inedible, fuzzy chokes, the artichokes can be an intimidating vegetable. But that shouldn’t be a reason to avoid them. When you know the right moves, prepping them is easier than you think.
Kitchen Smarts: How to Prep Artichokes With Ease
Vegetables IllustratedAn exciting guide with stunning photos and inspired recipes for everything from your favorite everyday vegetables to more adventurous farmers’ market choices.
In this video, part of the “Kitchen Smarts” series on America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel, America’s Test Kitchen books team test cook Joe Gitter uses a chef’s knife and some lemon water to demonstrate the best way to prep an artichoke. Here are some of our findings:
- Looks do matter: Check your artichoke before you buy it. Make sure it is bright green, not brown. It should also have tightly packed leaves. If you see one with leaves that look feathery, choose a different one.
- Scoop out the middle: Once your artichoke is split in two, make sure you scoop out the fuzzy choke. It might take a few tries. Also make sure you pull out the tiny purple leaves too; these cannot be eaten.
- Use a lemon water soak: Once you're done breaking down your artichoke, put the halves in a lemon water soak. This prevents them from oxidizing and turning brown, like avocados do when exposed to air.
Watch the Video
Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 8” Chef’s KnifeThis knife’s “super-sharp” blade was “silent” and “smooth,” retaining its edge after weeks of testing. Its textured grip felt secure for a wide range of hand sizes, and thanks to its gently rounded edges and the soft, hand-polished top spine, we could comfortably choke up on the knife for “precise,” “effortless” cuts.
Pyrex Smart Essentials Mixing Bowl Set with Colored LidsEven though these bowls were heavy, they never felt cumbersome to handle, thanks to their shallow, gently curved walls and easy-to-grip rims. Notably, they did not break when we dropped them. A bonus: Tight-fitting lids kept food well protected.
Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 3 1/4" Spear Point Paring KnifeThis knife was “superadept”; its sharp, flexible blade nimbly hugged curves, so we could surgically remove peels or cores without plunging too deeply.
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What’s your favorite way to cook artichokes? Let us know in the comments!