How to Cut & Clean an Artichoke

Mar 7, 2022 | Storage and Preservation

Cutting Artichokes

How to Cut Artichokes

Artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to humans. The scientific name for artichoke is Cynara cardunculus, which comes from Greek Mythology. According to Greek Mythology, the god Zeus fell in love with a girl named Cynara, and she became a goddess with him and he took her to Mount Olympus. Cynara, whom still had family on earth, took secret trips alone to see them. This angered the god, and he turned her into an artichoke. Yikes!

Whether you are a Greek god or a regular person down here with the rest of us mortals, artichokes are not only fun to eat, they are also delicious and nutritious. Most artichokes from the globe variety comes from Castroville, California, “the Artichoke Capital of the World.” They even have an Artichoke Festival in which Marilyn Monroe was named the official Artichoke Queen back in 1949.

This is all fun and interesting, but means nothing if you cannot enjoy and eat the incredible vegetable. The first step in enjoying this vegetables is cutting it to prepare it. Although this vegetable might seem a little intimidating, it really is not. The supplies you will need are very minimal, the vegetable, and a knife, and maybe kitchen shears (optional). That is it.

There are a couple different options you have here to cut your artichoke, depending on how you are going to eat it, or what you intend to do with it. I love to boil these bright green vegetables in water for about 1.5 hours with a pinch or salt, and Italian seasoning in the water. For this method, you might want to use your shears and cut off the tops of the leaves, if they have spikes on them. Some artichoke leaves have one spike on the top of their leaf, which will make your experience a little annoying if left on. Cut them off before you add them to water with kitchen scissors.

After the artichoke is cooked, some people cut off all the tip tops of the artichoke. This looks good for presentation, and is easy to do, but not necessary depending on how you plan to eat or use them. To do this, cross the artichoke with your knife about 1-2 inches down from the top, and cut. This can also take some the thrones off the top, since you will be cutting them off.

After this step, you would then cut it in half, and clean it. I will go over how to clean your artichoke below. So from here we have learned how to cut an artichoke if you want to boil them and eat them, and if you want to boil them and cut them to get to the taste meat inside. You can always cut them in half and throw some salt and pepper on them and throw them on the grill. There is really so much you can do with these great vegetables.

Cleaning Artichokes

How to clean Artichokes

So you want to clean your artichoke. For this project, you will need: A knife, kitchen shears, a boiled artichoke, and a spoon. First, you need to cut it, cooked it, and now you are almost ready to enjoy the meat inside. Or maybe you want the taste flesh inside for a recipe, it doesn’t matter, the process is the same. Once the artichoke is dethroned and cooked, it is time to cut it in half. If you wanted, you can cut the top of the leaves off. It does make cleaning the artichoke easier, and I would recommend it, but it is not necessary.

From this point, you have two artichoke halves that are cooked and dethroned. When you hold up either of the halves and look at the artichoke, you will see what looks like a middle small hair like cluster in the middle of the vegetable. This is called the heart, and all those little hair like things needs to be removed. Using your spoon, dig in and remove the heart. It might take a few digs to grab it all out, but make sure you do, cause those little hair like projections can get caught in your throat and cause a lot of problems. Do the same to the other side.

What you have left is two halves of an artichoke, that are essentially hallowed out. From this point, you can take off some of the outside leaves, and cut up the meat and add it to your dips or whatever you want to use them for. It is very easy to cook and eat, so give it a try.

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