How to Steam Artichokes, or, Steamed Artichokes with Two Perfect Sauces

As artichokes make their springtime debut, I would like to share a life-changing tip with you.  Or at least a tip that will save you half an hour every time you steam artichokes.

I don’t know that I have properly thanked the friend who serves these artichokes at his house (just casually, as if they’re not miraculous) for bringing them into my life.  I should.  Because here’s the ray-of-light epiphany he helped me to see: You don’t have to steam artichokes whole.  You can cut them first.  They cook faster.

So, ok, this may have occurred to you already.  But it had not occurred to me.  Ever.  And I am giddy with the newfound ability to serve artichokes for dinner on a whim.

You do have the cut them first, and you could trim the outer leaves or drop them into lemon water or whatever you want to make them pretty.  But all you really HAVE to do is scoop out the furry choke with a spoon, like so:And then chop each half into quarters (so each artichoke is cut into eighths in the end), steam them for 20-30 minutes, depending on their size, and serve them with my friend’s special secret sauces.  Steamed Artichokes: Halve artichokes and scoop out chokes.  Cut each half into quarters.  Steam for 20-30 minutes.  Meanwhile, make special secret sauces by melting butter in a small bowl.  In a second small bowl, mix mayonnaise with soy sauce to taste.  That’s all.


26 thoughts on “How to Steam Artichokes, or, Steamed Artichokes with Two Perfect Sauces

  1. Lori DiNardi

    I’m not a vegan, but I love me some artichokes. I have a wonderful Italian recipe for them handed down from my mom. It includes stuffing them with seasoned bread crumbs. Takes a while, but I found some short cuts. I’ll have to share it on my blog some time. Thanks so much for sharing these. Love to try them different ways.

  2. Desi Chick

    I love your primer on Artichoke cleaning and steaming. Especially if you’re not stuffing them with anything. Somebody just asked me the other day and I was explaining, now I can just refer them to your blog! :)

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Nice! I find myself looking online all the time to figure out how to do simple things. The internet is an even more comprehensive reference than my Joy of Cooking! :)

  3. Karista

    This is a fabulous post and I’m going to share it on my Facebook page! I remember when I first found out one could actually cut an artichoke in half to cook it rather than cook it whole. LOL! I too felt profound gratitude to the friend who shared this with me. :) Great post Emmy!!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      That is so funny. And you nailed the feeling: profound gratitude. Glad to hear you’re spreading the good word along! The world will be a better place when we all feel confident that we can get artichokes cooked through in half an hour. :)

  4. Shumaila

    Love it! I really want to get more artichokes in my diet and always have trouble as to how to serve them. We never got artichokes back in India, so it really is a new vegetable for me. Thanks for sharing your tip. Bookmarking it!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      You are so funny. :) I’m guessing that I’m YOUR friend who taught you this trick, since that’s just how I felt about my friend who taught me. :)

    1. emmycooks Post author

      My kids love them too, which is why I’m so happy to be able to make them more quickly now as they’re becoming quite a regular thing on our table. :)

  5. musingmar

    Confession: I’ve always been a little be afraid of artichokes. Not now! This method has demystified them. Too bad I just got home from the market ….. I’ll wait until next time to try them out.


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