Don't be fooled by the name, because Baby Artichokes are simply smaller, fully mature versions of the traditional Artichoke and grow on the lower part of the plant. Since the Baby Artichoke is a fan-favorite, we compiled everything you would ever want to know about the dainty vegetable.
Baby Artichokes are a seasonal size, and availability varies throughout the year. May is the peak harvest time for the small Artichoke, so you should find them in stores this month. If Baby Artichokes are not at your local grocery store, we recommend telling the produce manager you would like to see them on-shelf. You can tell the store Ocean Mist Farms confirmed that Baby Artichokes are in season now and are available to order!
Fresh Artichokes of all sizes produce a natural, thin film that, if not removed, can have a bitter taste and cause other ingredients in the same dish to taste bitter. To remove the film from your Baby Artichokes, rinse and remove both the short stem and outer bright green petals.
Baby Artichokes are easy to prepare – with a little trimming you can eat the entire Artichoke, as they do not have a fuzzy center. First, rinse Baby Artichokes under cold water and remove the outer layer of bright green petals until you reach the pale, yellow layer of petals. With a sharp kitchen knife, trim the stem and remove any dark green edges, which can cause a bitter taste if not removed. Next, cut about one half inch off the top of the Baby Artichoke. To preserve the color and prevent browning, soak the Baby Artichokes in lemon or vinegar water after trimming and drain when ready you are ready to cook. Watch our How to Prepare Baby Artichokes video for detailed preparation instructions.
Baby Artichokes can be prepared just like larger-sized Artichokes, but they don't take as long to cook. You can even cut Baby Artichokes in half prior to cooking to promote a faster cooking time. Baby Artichokes are done when a toothpick or knife tip goes into the base of the Artichoke with ease. The following are some popular methods for cooking Baby Artichokes:
Get delicious Baby Artichoke recipes on our recipe page and if you have a favorite recipe featuring Baby Artichokes, be sure to share it!
- Steaming: Arrange Baby Artichokes in a steamer insert or basket in a pot deep enough to keep the Baby Artichokes above water. Cover tightly and steam over rapid boiling water until tender. Depending on size and quantity of Baby Artichokes, steaming time can range from 15 to 20 minutes. Lift out carefully and drain.
- Microwaving: Arrange Baby Artichokes in a microwaveable bowl with about 1-2 inches of water. Cover the bowl with a microwavable plate or plastic wrap and microwave on high until tender: about 10-12 minutes for 6-8 Baby Artichokes and 12-15 minutes for 10-12 Baby Artichokes. Keep covered and let Artichokes stand for 5 minutes prior to serving.
- Sautéing: Place quartered Baby Artichokes in a skillet or wok lightly coated with olive oil. Cover and sauté slowly on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until the Artichokes begin to brown. Season the Chokes with salt, pepper and garlic.
- Grilling: First, pre-cook Baby Artichokes by microwaving, steaming or boiling. Then, brush with olive oil and grill – turning frequently and watching carefully – over hot coals just until nicely browned. Option: Cut Baby Artichokes in half before grilling for a bite-size snack or side dish.
- Boiling: Add whole, trimmed Baby Artichokes to enough boiling water to cover the Artichokes. Cover tightly and simmer just until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes (time will vary depending on how many you are cooking). Drain well. Option: Substitute vegetable or chicken stock for water when boiling Artichokes for added flavor.