How to Trim Baby Artichokes

  • 01 of 07

    Start With Fresh Baby Artichokes

    Photo © Molly Watson

    I won't lie, trimming baby artichokes involves a bit of work. For that reason, you want to start with the best artichokes possible. Baby artichokes should have tight, compact heads and fresh-cut stem ends. Like most vegetables, they should feel heavy for their size. If you can't prepare them right away, store them loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge for a few days.

    One note: You may be tempted to do each step with all the baby artichokes you have on hand before going to the next...MORE step. I suggest that, instead, you fully trim each artichoke before starting on the next one. Trust me, it will go faster and you'll have to keep fewer piles on the counter.

    Have larger artichokes on hand? See How to Trim Artichokes instead.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Remove the Outer Leaves

    Photo © Molly Watson

    Working with one baby artichoke at a time, pull off and discard the tough outer leaves. Rip the leaves off in the opposite direction of how they're growing, pulling down and away from the artichoke so you bring as many extra tough fibers with the leaf as possible.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Reveal the Light Green Leaves

    Photo © Molly Watson

    Keep removing the outer leaves until the leaves remaining are mostly kid-glove soft and so light green they could be called yellow. Note: It is better to overdo it and remove a few extra tender leaves than to end up with tough, inedible baby artichokes!

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Cut Off the Tops of the Leaves

    Photo © Molly Watson

    Cut off and discard the dark and medium green tops of the remaining leaves.

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  • 05 of 07

    Cut Off the Stems

    Photo © Molly Watson

    Cut off and discard the stem end. When trimming larger artichokes, I often peel the stem, since the part beneath all the fibrous exterior is tender and delicious. With baby artichokes, though, there's just not enough "meat" in there to bother with all that peeling. Go ahead and cut it off.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Trim the Sides

    Photo © Molly Watson

    Using a sharp paring knife, cut off and discard any remaining dark or medium green parts along the sides of the artichoke.

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  • 07 of 07

    Finished Trimmed Baby Artichoke

    Photo © Molly Watson

    Behold! You have successfully trimmed a baby artichoke. No need to open it up and scoop out the choke - those nasty fibers aren't developed in baby artichokes, to the whole thing is edible. To keep it from oxidizing and turning an unattractive dark brown (though it will still taste good), immerse it in acidulated water (about 2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice to 1-quart cold water). Repeat with any remaining baby artichokes.

    Now that you've gone to all the trouble, cook them up...MORE deliciously with one of these great Baby Artichoke Recipes.