Tender steamed artichokes with a garlic butter dipping sauce are a treat my kids truly love. My youngest begs me to buy them any time he spies them in the grocery store.
Artichokes are undeniably one of the more intimidating vegetables to cook and eat. If you’re like me and didn’t grow up eating them, just follow this guide on how to steam artichokes.
Steaming yields the vibrant flavor that I love about artichokes. It reminds me of asparagus, but with a mild nuttiness. The taste pairs well with so many different dips and sauces–I’ve yet to try one I didn’t like.
Keep the following tips in mind when you’re making steamed artichokes:
First, be selective with the artichokes you buy. The petals of the globe should be closed tightly, and even squeak a bit when squeezed. The heavier, the better, in my opinion. You don’t want to buy a dried-out artichoke.
Second, (and this is debatable if I’m being honest) Trim the sharp tips of the leaves, and slice off the top of the globe–about half an inch to an inch. Then cut off all but the last inch or so of the stem. Rinse it well.
Remember how I said this was a debatable step? I spent years trimming each leaf on every artichoke I bought, just to make them a bit prettier. I’ve yet to notice any difference when steaming artichokes. So… as pictured here, I’ve stopped doing that. (I couldn’t even convince myself to do it for the photos here. Truth.)
Third, artichokes take a while to steam. Use a timer so that you don’t lose track. If you overcook them, you’ll deplete the flavor and get a mushy mess.
How To Steam Artichokes
These are the step-by-step instructions on how to steam artichokes:
Prep the pot: Add an inch of water. Place the steamer basket in the pot. (I really love the steamer set pictured here.) You can also use a metal strainer or colander. The water should be completely beneath the basket. If you can see the standing water over the bottom of the basket, pour some out.
Boil the water: Set the pot over a burner and turn it to high. Cover the pot. When you hear the water boiling rapidly, lift the cover to check. If steam billows out, it’s ready.
Steaming Artichokes: Place the artichoke globes into the steamer basket. Cover the pot again, and lower the heat setting to medium. Now, set the timer.
Note: I’ve seen some cooks recommend adding aromatics to the water to infuse these flavors into the artichokes while they steam. Personally, I just look forward to dipping those tender leaves in buttery garlic sauce.
How Long To Steam Artichokes
Wondering how long to steam artichokes? The diameter of the globe matters, but it should take between 25 and 45 minutes to finish.
Start checking for tenderness after 25 minutes of steaming. You should be able to easily remove the leaves. And, the heart of an artichoke–the flesh around where the stem connects–should be easily poked by a fork or paring knife.
I can think of no other vegetable that requires a guide on what to do with it once it’s on your plate. But, the intimidating artichoke sure deserves one. So, here’s the skinny on how to eat an artichoke.
Artichokes are delicious even with a simple mixture of butter and lemon or butter and garlic. That said, I’ve eaten this vegetable with everything from chipotle aioli to honey mustard and even a minty Greek yogurt.
There is a whole world of dipping sauces to explore with a good artichoke. Have fun with it!
Do you hate mushy vegetables as much as I do? Don’t fear that outcome when steaming vegetables with these simple directions. You’ll get perfect slightly crisp green beans, carrots, asparagus, or broccoli every time.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to cook corn on the cob is to steam it. This method delivers tender yellow kernels that are bursting with sweet flavor.
Looking for more artichoke recipes? Combine the robust flavor of artichoke hearts with the fiery kick of fresh jalapenos in this endlessly snackable Artichoke Jalapeno Dip.
How to Steam Artichokes
- 2-4 artichokes depending on size
- Bring a couple of inches of water to boil in a pot.
- Place the artichokes in a steamer basket and put the basket into the pot of boiling water. Cover the pot, and lower the heat to medium. Steam for 25-45 minutes.
- Remove them from the heat when the artichokes are tender when poked with a fork. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.