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.
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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.