Amazing Artichokes - Penny Lane Blog at - 237996

Penny Lane

Amazing Artichokes 
May 30, 2011 9:09 pm 
Updated: Jul. 16, 2011 5:50 pm
I would really like to know -  
Who was the first - very brave person, to actually eat these thistles?
  None the less, I am so thankful that someone had the guts to tackle these dudes.  I first met Artichokes when I was about 13 years old.  They were foreign to me but my step mother Dorothy was so excited that I was willing to give them a go. 
 Besides the leaves were dipped in butter, how bad could they be?   

I was amazed to find these beautiful Artichokes on sale at for .99 each. 
Look at the size of these bad boys!

First - you have to wash them and trim them up.  
I use kitchen shears and just snip off the end of each leaf. 
Then take a serrated knife and trim off the top and the stem. 
Lemon juice squirted on all the cut surfaces and in the cooking water helps to keep them from turning brown.

Place the cut artichokes in a large pot of salted water with the lemon.   Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer until the bottoms are tender and a center leaf pulls out easily.  About 45 to 60 minutes.
When they are done - remove from the water and invert on a  rack to drain and cool enough to handle. 
Once the artichokes are cool enough it handle - slice them in half with a serrated knife.  I used an electric knife which works wonders.  
If you don't have an electric knife use a serrated bread knife.    
Now comes the fun part. 
Using a sharp paring knife, cut between the  choke and the heart.  Then using a small spoon scoop out all the pokey choke and discard.


The bottom artichoke is cleaned and seasoned - ready to grill. 
  At this point you can place the artichokes in the refrigerator until it is time to grill them. 

Place over direct heat until charred on both top and bottom. 
About 10 minutes.


Grilled Garlic Artichokes. 
May 30, 2011 10:25 pm
What time's dinner. I dearly love Artichokes. There are so many grand ways to flavor and enjoy an artichoke. I think a lot of people think the only way to eat an artichoke is with a bowl of mayo. That's like putting catsup on a steak. Just something wrong about mayo and a beautiful artichoke. I keep watching our store for artichokes but nothing yet. Now that you have posted this, I know I need artichokes. And very easy to follow. Good cracker!!
May 30, 2011 10:28 pm
A Testament to true love is when you give your signifigant other your "heart". Your artichokes look like a little piece of heaven, B'Nana. I think I will boil some off to take camping. Then grill at the beach. Yum!! Thank you for the neat blog. Toni(=
May 30, 2011 10:42 pm
Thanks for stopping by! Toni Jo - these are the perfect camping food! They can be made several days ahead of time and then ou just pop them on the grill and you are set!
May 30, 2011 10:46 pm
Kitten - have you ever tried cooking a whole artichoke in the rice cooker? For one or two people this is perfect. Just remember the lemon. Oh and a couple of garlic cloves help too. :-)
May 30, 2011 10:50 pm
They look great-everything tastes better grilled!
May 30, 2011 10:56 pm
So true Ken - the charring adds a whole different dimension to the taste of these. I made grilled brussels sprouts and Oh My Goodness were they good.
May 31, 2011 4:15 am
I love artichokes. .99 cents is a great price too. For some reson, for the last year I cannot find a good artichoke. They are loose and soft. Yours look great! Great find. Enjoy! What did you end up doing with the rest of them?
May 31, 2011 5:00 am
I must try these! Tho I have seen them that big!
May 31, 2011 5:21 am
MattsBelly - I cooked all of the - cleaned them, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then into a freezer bag. I will let you know how that works out.
May 31, 2011 5:22 am
Carrie - the hearts on these were huge but there wasn't as much meat on the leaves as I would have liked.
May 31, 2011 5:33 am
Those look great! I'll look forward to hearing about the frozen ones, too! I agree with Toni Jo above about giving away your heart! Kind of literal and figurative!
May 31, 2011 6:18 am
Those look great! We are getting huge ones here as well. I have never tried grilling them, I think I will do that soon. I usually boil them with balsamic vinegar, salt and dill in the water. Great job
May 31, 2011 6:52 am
Marianne - I will let you know how the frozen ones work out. Koriekiss - I haven't tried the balsamic vinegar I bet they are really good.
May 31, 2011 6:58 am
Very pretty and fun blog! Artichokes hold a special place in my heart (no pun intended) DH introduced them to me right after we met almost 40 years ago and we've enjoyed them at many special meals ever since. And he ALWAYS gives me his heart =)
May 31, 2011 7:31 am
YUM! I found some beautiful artichokes yesterday and now I have a great way to prepare them tonight. Thanks so much!
May 31, 2011 8:02 am
One of my favorite foods! You missed one little detail here though. Keep the stem....if it is still attached. Just peel the outside of the stems and they are just the continuation of the "heart". Delicious!
May 31, 2011 9:35 am
I am so jealous..artichokes are one of my ultimate fav veggies!
May 31, 2011 10:58 am
MauiGirl - I have tried to peel the stems and leave them attached. No B'Papa thought they were too fiberous. Hmmm - I will have to try it again. :)
May 31, 2011 11:00 am
ariessweetie - I think artichokes are amazing - mainly because they look for formidable - yet they are so perfectly delicious!
May 31, 2011 11:37 am
Hope I didn't sound like a know it all. I love them cuz they taste like the heart. BPapa is a keeper so I would overlook this small weakness LOL
May 31, 2011 1:20 pm
Thanks for stopping back by Mauigirl. For a man who didn't grow up eating veggies at all - he is all right. :)
May 31, 2011 6:00 pm
I love artichokes, but I have never eaten them this way. Down in Louisiana we stuff them with a mixture of garlic, breadcrumbs, olive oil and Parmesan cheese, then steam until done. YUM. I may have to try your recipe too!!
May 31, 2011 6:18 pm
I want to frame the first picture and hang it in my kitchen. Those are beautiful! We love artichokes. Thank you Ba'Nana for SHOWING us how to prepare them. (I'm a visual learner. Draw me a picture and I've got it forever.)BTW, be there in 20 for artichoke appy's and wine! LOL!!!
May 31, 2011 6:25 pm
Bj's Ellie - I LOVE stuffed artichokes. Oh gosh they are so good. Thanks for stopping by.
May 31, 2011 6:28 pm
Candice - All I have is white wine - is that OK? I too am a visual learner. Besides I think that artichokes are absolutely beautiful. Have you ever seen one in full bloom? Amazing color that the camera cannot capture.
May 31, 2011 6:42 pm
Cool! Chardenay's my wine of choice, but not really too picky, any white wine will do! Yes, I have! And, they are beautiful. I love food pictures in the kitchen!
May 31, 2011 6:56 pm
I love artichokes and smacked my head when I saw you grilled them - why have I never thought of that? Great idea!
May 31, 2011 9:29 pm
Candice - I wish we were neighbors - we would get along ust fine!
May 31, 2011 9:32 pm
BSM - it has only been in the resent past that I started grilling veggies. I grew up in a British family - not much grilling going on there. I do so love to throw an entire meal on the grill - meat, veggies & par boiled potatoes. Perfect summer fare.
Jun. 1, 2011 4:44 am
I am not a fan of chokes myself but my wife & kids will love this. Thanks BN.
Jun. 1, 2011 4:58 am
Thanks for stopping in Doug. You might want to give these one more try. :)
Jun. 1, 2011 7:47 am
This looks really good.. I wouldn't know coz I've never tasted em but it sure does look good.. we never eat artichokes in SL. hmmm... Makes me curious tho, wanna try em now.. Mayb when I move to London.. and thanx nana, super helpful blog especially to a novice like me.. Blog link saved :D
Jun. 1, 2011 7:48 am
Btw, if u don't mind me asking... Is it name really Penny Lane?
Jun. 1, 2011 8:18 am
Good morning Cuppycake - I hope you get a chance to try artichokes. They are more of a cool climate vegetable - which is probably why you don't have them in Sri Lanka. No, my name isn't Penny Lane. Close though.
Jun. 1, 2011 10:37 am
They grew in my backyard in California. I think artichoke is a lot like lobster...a wonderful vehicle for melted butter!
Jun. 1, 2011 10:42 am
The only way I've ever eaten artichoke is canned hearts on a salad. Now I'm ready to try a fresh one! Thanks for the easy to follow instructions and the yummy pics! (And you can bet when I grill them with my rack of ribs for friends in a few weeks, I'll give you the credit;-)
Jun. 1, 2011 10:52 am
Petey - if it weren't for teh butter I would never have tried artichokes in the first place.
Jun. 1, 2011 10:54 am
Mangel - I hope you enjoy them - canned artichokes are so different than fresh ones. Ahhh - if they are really good, then you go ahead and take full credit for them - if you don't like them, you can credit me. :)
Jun. 1, 2011 6:12 pm
Last post went away into cyberland. First time I had chokes, my aunt made stuffed ones down in Louisanna. Terrified my mom, she was afraid I'd turn my nose up. Yep picky child I was. My aunt's food was all good. Would love some artichokes or red snapper or...
Teri B 
Jun. 1, 2011 7:34 pm
Try the hollandaise sauce in a jar at traders joe with your artichoke .it is just great and easy. Also try putting on a little bit of olive oil and garlic salt or other spices before you grill.
Jun. 1, 2011 7:50 pm
i live in artichoke country(93940). the choke pictured is a 'globe' i think. the variety grown/sold around here is not so rounded and is usually meatier and tastier. i might be biased, but check it out for yourself.
Jun. 1, 2011 8:29 pm
Teri B - the recipe calls for OO, garlic and I alway add lemon - yum. So good.
Jun. 1, 2011 8:30 pm
areyou - You are fortunate indeed! You are right - these are Globe chokes - the hearts are huge but there isn't as much 'meat' on the leaves. Thanks for your input.
Jun. 2, 2011 8:59 am
Make sure to shop around for the best price. I'm a multi-stop shopper and on the same day I saw 'chokes at Trader Joe's for .99 each and Whole Foods had them for 3.99 each. I almost always buy them when I see them at .99 each! Never thought to grill them, thanks B'Nana!
Jun. 2, 2011 9:43 am
LOL! Really, who looks at something like an artichoke (or a pineapple!) and says "I think I shall eat that."? I am glad they did though! We like ours marinated in italian viniagrette overnight before grilling. Or sometimes grilled plain and dipped in garlic butter. (@SweetBasil, that is sooo romantic!)
Jun. 2, 2011 10:01 am
So, I went looking for Artichokes yesterday with the hubster and geesh!, they're spendy here. $2/each. They were big, but Holey Moley! Didn't get any, but I want some so bad I may just go back and buy one or two anyway!!!
Jun. 2, 2011 10:06 am
I made artichokes not too long ago, it tasted like soft wood to us....we didn't dip it in butter. It has a strange taste.
Jun. 2, 2011 12:14 pm
Lissa - I too shop around and I shop ads. Sam's Club often has a 4 pack of chokes for jut over $4. not bad. I will let you know how the frozen ones are.
Jun. 2, 2011 12:16 pm
hazelnut - I will have to try them marinated in Italian dressing. Oh, my hubby would never give up his heart - at least not his artichoke heart. :) He does give me his shrimp - but that is just because he doesn't eat shrimp.
Jun. 2, 2011 12:17 pm
Candice - keep on looking - you might find a deal - or just get one and share it. :)
Jun. 2, 2011 12:19 pm
TheCambodianCook - I sorry you didn't enjoy your artichokes. Did you cook them with salt and lemon? I also add a couple of garlic cloves to the water. Grilling with the garlic OO adds another layer of flavor.
Jun. 3, 2011 12:49 pm
I like to steam mine with italian dressing in the leafs then sprinkle them with grated parm before I grill them. I am really lucky and live near castroville which is where most american artichokes come from so I get really nice ones.
Jun. 3, 2011 12:51 pm
Oh and I make a dip with a little bit of mayo some sour cream, dijon mustard and lots of chopped garlic yum yum!
Jun. 3, 2011 4:33 pm
Oh - Jodi - aren't you the LUCKY one. I bought back some great chokes from Castroville! I will try your method. Sounds awesome!
Jun. 4, 2011 12:50 pm
Baking Nana, this reminds me of the Killer Artichoke recipe I tried from here- SO good! My little tip is to cut in half after trimming but before cooking. Use a grapefruit spoon to get out the choke, all in one piece. The Killer Artichoke recipe calls for butter, garlic, and shallots to be basted on the chokes while they're grilling. SO good!
Jun. 4, 2011 2:31 pm
Thanks for stopping in Skoo - The Killer Artichokes is another good one. I have tried the cut before cooking too - works good as long as I have lots of lemon for the cut surfaces. Either way - these are KILLER Chokes!
Jun. 4, 2011 8:51 pm
Caved today and went back to our "indoor" farmer's market and bought two artichokes. I prepared them according to your pictoral recipe instructions. We had corn on the cob as well with bar-b-qued steak. Oh Nana, were they good. Worth all 400 pennies I spent! LOL Thanks again. Delish!!!
Jun. 5, 2011 5:45 am
I am glad that you enjoyed them Candice. I consider them a real treat.
Jun. 5, 2011 9:24 am
Love the variations! One of my favs is cut off top, drizzle with olive oil, slip in some garlic, maybe some oregano, wrap very tightly with foil, and bake 400* for 70 minutes or so. Mix mayo & worcestershire to use as dip. Add white pepper &/or a little honey, if you wish; I usually don't, but some like it sweeter. Steaming in oven instead of over water allows a more artichokey taste. Grilling is always a nice finish!
Jun. 5, 2011 12:03 pm
Outstanding blog, Baking Nana! You reminded us how enjoyable artichokes can be. Thank you for the inspiration!
Jun. 5, 2011 4:31 pm
You make preparing them look so easy!
Jun. 5, 2011 8:34 pm
Catherine - I will have to try the oven method! YUM! Thank you!
Jun. 5, 2011 8:36 pm
Cookie Monster - they really are a treat - I hope you find some at a good price and give them a go! @ Lindsay - it is easy - I really like that they can be all cooked and ready for the grill long before dinner. I have taken them camping numerous times.. OH JOY!
Jun. 6, 2011 4:59 am
I lived in Calif for a couple of years and a roommate introduced me to them. I love them with butter or with mayo. Your inspiring photos and tips make me want to go get some today. We'll see what I can find in Indiana! :)
Jun. 6, 2011 5:44 am
Thanks for stopping in Joy. I hope you are able to find some good chokes and a good price. They really are a treat.
Jun. 6, 2011 9:19 pm
Mmmm sounds Yummy! Will have to look for some of those bad boys to grill!
Jun. 23, 2011 2:55 am
Moved to California and had them in my backyard. What a treat. I, too, wondered who first tackled that "fruit". Thanks for a great read.
Jul. 15, 2011 7:40 am
Update - I defrosted a few of my frozen artichokes to serve with dinner last night. I just heated them up in the micro wave instead of grilling. They were really good. No change in flavor or texture. What a nice treat.
Jul. 15, 2011 8:31 am
I'm still trying to figure out who the first person to eat a raw oyster was. Artichokes are great and so much fun to serve as an appetizer. People have to linger over them and it sets the tone for communication during the party.
Jul. 15, 2011 10:51 am
I've never cooked artichokes because I didn't know how to fix them! Thanks for the info! Now, if I can just find some on sale!
Jul. 16, 2011 5:50 pm
sueb - I hope you find some at a good price. They really are a great treat. Catty - you are right - they slow people down and as they savor each leaf. Good food!
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Baking Nana

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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