How to Prepare an Artichoke
With just a little preparation, fresh Artichokes can be easy to cook, just follow these step-by-step instructions:
Decide if you need to cook just one Artichoke or multiple Artichokes at a time. Either way, you can cook Artichokes ahead and store them in your refrigerator for several days before eating them or using them in a recipe.
Next, take your fresh Artichoke and rinse it well under cold water. If you have one handy, we even recommend using any soft kitchen brush and giving the choke a quick brush down to remove the natural, light film an Artichoke produces while growing. This can give the choke a bitter taste if not removed.
“Top and tail” the Artichoke with your knife:
With a sharp, serrated kitchen knife, cut about one inch from the top of the Artichoke.
Then, trim the stem about one half inch or remove the stem if you need it to “sit up” on a plate for stuffing or filling. Remember, the Artichoke stem is a continuation of the Heart, so don’t cut it off unless you need you to.
For restaurant-style presentation of Artichokes, take any scissors or kitchen shears and snip off the thorns on the tip of the Artichoke petals (Note: this step is optional, as the thorns tend to soften with cooking).
Many cooks like to also rub the cut portion of the Artichoke with the juice of a fresh lemon to prevent it from browning. Again, this step is optional.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to spread open the petals slightly to allow any seasoning you may use to fall in between the Artichoke petals for flavor.
Now, your Artichoke is ready to cook!