Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 8, 2013

Cook those spring artichokes

The spring weather is still a bit patchy here in the northern hemisphere, but lovely spring artichokes have arrived in the local markets.


They are not all that difficult to cook even though they look as though they should be. There are endless possibilities, but here is a simple way I like to prepare fresh artichokes.

Cut the top off the artichoke and peel away several of the outer layers of leaves. Cut the stalk to about 5cm and peel the top rough layer.


Cut into quarters and place in water with a little lemon juice to prevent discolouration.


Heat some olive oil in a pan, place the artichokes in the pan and add about a cup of white wine and enough water to almost cover the artichokes.


Let them steam gently until tender. This will depend on the size and freshness of the artichokes. You may need to top up the wine and water as it evaporates. Once you can cut them easily they are done.



Remove from the pan and place in a bowl, pour a little extra olive oil over them, lemon juice to taste and season with salt and pepper. I also sprinkled some thyme leaves on the artichokes (because that is all I have growing on my balcony, you could use parsley or whatever takes your fancy)




  1. Market day here Wednesday. They will be on the menu.

    • Try them, they are really easy.

  2. This is GREAT vegetable and I love it too. Thank you, wonderful photographs… Love, nia

    • I love artichokes, I am pleased I eventually tried cooking them myself.

  3. I ADORE artichokes! Don’t you love this time of year? Also wild asparagus along the canals are great in risotto, just amazing!

    • Yes I do love this time of the year, especially when the sun is shining. I love the wild asparagus too. We can buy it in the market sometimes and I am sure it will be growing near our house in Vergemoli, I will have to go hunting.

  4. Great eating idea…Sandra actually eats them raw, peeling off the leaves and dipping them in vinaigrette – something i don’t share.

    • I like them raw if they are sliced thinly.

  5. Artichokes are on the list of my favourite vegetables. Most of the time I simply remove the outer leaves and stems and boil them in salted water with a lemon cut in half. Actually, I do not discard the stems. I peel them with a vegetable peeler and add them to the water.They cook at the same time as the globes. I serve them as an entrée with a vinaigrette.
    Another preparation style I really love, is to oil them and quarter them and then make a sautee with about a pound of fresh clams. Add some white wine and pepper and they are ready as soon as the clams open up. Discard any clams that do not open. Enjoy!

    • Thanks for the tips, I will try them soon.

  6. I like your articles. I have a house in Vergemoli too but it is cold and wet

    • Ours was built with very good insulation. It is more difficult with the older houses here.

  7. Thank you for the recipe.I didn’t cook artichokes.I saw them in the super market.Now that I have your recipe,I will try to cook them.

    • They are quite easy once you get used to them.

  8. We enjoy artichokes, but don’t have them often because we are unsure how to deal with them … so many thanks!!!

    • Don’t be afraid! You might like to wear rubber gloves when handling them as they can stain you fingers if you handle a lot of them.

      • 🙂

  9. Love artichokes and have had them in every possible way. The stalks are the best part as long as they are thoroughly peeled. Great pictures, as always.

    • I like the stalks too as long as they are not too woody.

  10. They look beautiful and must taste even better. Your gorgeous photos are good enough to eat too Deb!

    • Artichokes are delicious however you eat them.

  11. I’ve only tried artichokes once. The way you cook them in your pictures and the finished product sprinkled with thyme looks so scrumptious! Next time I see artichokes on the grocer shop, I must try this recipe. Thanks for sharing with us, Deb.

    • They really are easy to cook…and delicious to eat.

  12. These look delicious and easy enough. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipe, Deb!

    • It is quite basic, but it works.

  13. They look delicious. I have never cooked artichokes – I didn’t realize it was so easy, thank you for the recipe.

    • They just look difficult. Once you have tried you will see haow easy it is.

  14. Such beautiful colours; it’s a really pretty vegetable, no wonder they are a favourite in still life paintings. I love eating them and much prefer them freshly cooked but I’ve never tried ‘de-bearding’ so to speak, this pretty little dragon, but your instructions make it seem really easy.

    • They are gorgeous and they grow a beautiful lilac flower.

  15. Lovely!

  16. We don’t get that beautiful variety of purple and green artichoke over here.
    I’ve tried cooking artichokes but didn’t cut them in half – I think that’s the secret – plus the cup of wine. Thanks for the recipe.

    • I think they would take a long time to cook if you didn’t cut them.

      • That’s most probably why they were so tasteless and overcooked 😀

      • Could be.

  17. I really like artichokes, globe and Jerusalem (although they’re so different!).

    • I like them both too, but I have had little to do with the Jerusalem artichokes.

  18. […] Cook those spring artichokes […]

  19. They have no chokes! you are so lucky to have those, my favourite ever vegetable, we had some italian ones the other day in the local shop, from Rome I think, but even those had little chokes….

    • I know! One of the recipes I looked at said to remove the hairy choke and I pulled the poor artichoke to bits looking for it. I wonder why they don’t have them.

  20. […] Cook those spring artichokes ( […]

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