Artichokes have a distinct flavor that’s earthy and almost sweet. Cooking artichokes in lemon juice helps bring out the unique flavor of the green vegetable while adding a complementary zip to the dish. There are two ways to cook artichokes in lemon juice, you can steam or boil them. Steaming enhances their natural flavor and boiling strips away the flavor, which is why steaming is a common choice. However, you don’t want to steam artichokes in pure lemon juice, but rather in lemon water. Pure lemon juice adds too strong of an acidic bite and drowns out the delicate artichoke flavor.
Things You'll Need
- Kitchen scissors
- Steaming basket
- Pot with lid
Pull off the small leaves around the bottom of each artichoke and remove any discolored leaves. Cut the stem and the last inch off the top of each artichoke with a knife. Cut any thorny tips from the leaves with kitchen scissors.
Rinse each artichoke in cold water individually. Turn the artichoke around as the water runs down it to ensure the entire body is rinsed clean. Shake the excess water from each artichoke. Place each cleaned artichoke in a large steaming basket.
Fill a large pot with about an inch of water. Stir an equal amount of lemon juice into the pot. Place the pot over high heat. Place the steaming basket in the center of the pot and cover the pot with a lid. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Steam the artichokes for 20 to 40 minutes, or until the outer leaves pull off with ease.
Tips & Warnings
- The time it takes to cook artichokes depends entirely on the size of each artichoke and how many you’re cooking at one time. The only way to know if the artichoke is done cooking is to pull on an outer leaf to see if it detaches easily.
- Scrape the meat from each leaf with your teeth and discard the stripped leaf as you eat the artichoke. Continue stripping and discarding leaves until you reach the fuzzy heart. Scrape away the fuzzy part and eat the remaining “heart” leaves.
- Accent the artichoke flavor as desired for a customized dish. Try the leaves dipped in butter, dusted with garlic powder or sprinkled with lemon juice.
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