How to Peel and Prepare an Artichoke

How to Peel and Prepare an Artichoke

The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  • 01 of 08

    Step One: Cleaning the Artichoke.

    Artichokes on a towel

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

    Before trimming, wash the artichoke thoroughly. Hold the artichoke under cold running water. Rinse in between the leaves without pulling on them. Turn the artichoke upside down (stem side up) and give a good shake. Dry the artichoke with a clean towel.

    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Step Two: Trim the Top.

    Artichoke top being cut off

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

    Using a large knife, cut off the top 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches of the artichoke. This is where the leaves are most tightly bunched.

    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Step Three. Trim the Leaves.

    trim the artichoke leaves

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

    Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut off the sharp points from the leaves.

    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Step Four. Scoop out the base.

    artichokes in a pot

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

    At this point, the artichoke can be used for stuffing. Cut off the stem flush with the base. Cook the artichoke in boiling water for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove and scoop out the purple leaves and "hairs" that cover the artichoke heart.

    Note: Artichokes discolor rapidly when exposed to air. If you are not using the artichokes right away, place the uncooked artichokes in some water with lemon juice.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Step Five. Removing the Leaves.

    remove the outer leaves from the artichoke

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

    If you only want to use the artichoke hearts, remove all the leaves. Starting with the outermost leaves first, grasp a leaf by the top and pull downward. The leaf should snap right off. Continue until all the leaves have been removed.

    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Step Six. Edible Portion is Exposed.

    edible portion of the artichoke exposed

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

    Once the leaves are removed, the innermost pale leaves will be exposed. This is the part you've worked for, but there is still a little more to do.

    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Step Seven. Edible Portion is Exposed..

    trim the base of the artichoke

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

    Once the leaves are removed, use a paring knife to remove the hard leaf remnants around the base. Use a vegetable peeler to trim the woody outermost layer of the stem. Cut off a 1/2" from the bottom of the stem.

    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Step Eight. Expose the Choke.

    Peeled and Prepared Artichokes

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

    Cut the remaining piece in half lengthwise. Remove the purple leaves and the hairy portion covering the choke. A grapefruit spoon works well for this task. The artichoke is now ready to be sliced and cooked according to the recipe (try a simple roasted artichoke recipe to get started). If you are not using the artichoke right away, place them in some water with lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.