It’s artichoke season again, and I’ve already made these Mediterranean Style Steamed Artichokes twice.
Ok, maybe it’s the Hollandaise Sauce that is the draw, but seriously, these have so much flavor, you really don’t even need the Hollandaise! A sprinkle of a good quality Balsamic vinegar goes really well with them. (This post was originally posted on May 21st 2012 with my blender hollandaise. I’ve republished, separating the two recipes.) This post contains affiliate links for you convenience.
Artichokes remind me of my teenage years. My dad would take my brother and me out every Friday night to the same restaurant, and we’d have exactly the same dinner, a spinach salad and steamed artichokes with Hollandaise. My dad would always “pay” me to clean his “heart” for him, by giving me half.
Artichokes are a great source of fiber
You can already guess that artichokes are a zero fat food, but did you know they are fiber rich? Think about it, you eat them by scraping the leaf off with your teeth! A large artichoke contains nearly 6 grams of fiber, folate, magnesium and vitamin c. (Nutritional info from the California Artichoke Advisory Board)
How to prepare artichokes
This method is one I learned in cooking school and is purely for aesthetics.
After washing the artichoke, slice the bottom of the stem off, and make a cross.
How to steam artichokes
There are various methods for preparing artichokes, but I prefer steaming. Yes, it takes about 45 minutes, but once you get them going, you can forget about them. After preparing each artichoke, separate the leaves as much as possible.
This allows the herbs and seasonings to get down inside of the leaves. Place a simple steamer basket like this one, or a small metal trivet in a large pot filled with water just until touching the bottom of the basket.
Be generous with the seasonings. Try and get them down into the leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and cover pot. Steam artichokes for approximately 45 minutes, or until a leaf pulls away easily and is tender.
Serve artichokes with a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar or this easy One Minute Hollandaise Sauce.
How to clean the artichoke heart
Eat or remove leaves until you reach the soft purple “thistle”. Pinch the thistle portion and pull.
Most of the thistle should come up. Scrape or clean the heart of all the spiky bits. I like to use a grapefruit spoon with a serrated edge to do this. Trim the bottom and sides. Dip the artichoke in more Balsamic or Hollandaise sauce.
Some of the items used in this post are available on my Amazon store for your convenience.
Mediterranean Style Steamed Artichokes
- Trim the bottom and very top leaves of each artichoke. With sharp shears, cut the top 1/4 of each artichoke leaf (optional). Make a cross in the bottom of each artichoke.
- Mix herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Fit a steamer basket or metal trivet in the bottom of a large pot. Fill pot with water, just until touching the bottom of the basket.
- Place artichokes on the trivet or steamer basket. Separate the leaves and sprinkle the herbs in between and over the artichokes. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
- Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Steam artichokes, checking water level periodically, adding more if necessary. Steam for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until leaves are tender and pull away easily. Serve with a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar or Hollandaise sauce.
Looking for more artichoke recipes?
This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad has artichoke hearts, olives and tomatoes.