The Instant Pot is an excellent way to steam whole artichokes. If you generally avoid fresh artichokes because they are challenging to prepare and cook, you need to give this method a try. The whole trimmed artichokes cook under pressure in just 10 minutes and preparation is a breeze. You can even skip cutting and trimming if you're short on time.
The aioli, or lemon garlic mayonnaise, is the perfect dip for the artichoke leaves, but you can also enjoy them with plain melted butter or a warm butter and garlic combination. They are a fantastic snack to enjoy while watching a movie or game.
If you're intimidated by the fibrous "choke" in the center, don't be. It's super easy to scoop out after removing the leaves. Read on to learn how easy it is to prep, cook, and eat whole artichokes!
- For the Artichokes:
- 4 (8 to 10-ounce) medium artichokes
- 1 lemon (sliced and divided)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 clove garlic (sliced)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the Aioli:
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 dash cracked black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 dash kosher salt (or to taste)
- Optional: 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
- Optional: lemon wedges for serving
Gather the ingredients for the artichokes.
Remove the tougher outer leaves from the artichokes; rinse them and cut about 1 inch from the tops. Immediately rub a slice of lemon over the top to prevent discoloration. Cut off the stems so the artichokes are flat on the bottoms. Peel the stems and set them aside if you like to eat them; otherwise, discard them. With kitchen shears, cut off the thorny tips of the remaining leaves. Rinse the artichokes thoroughly.
Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the Instant Pot inner pot and add 2 slices of lemon, the sliced garlic, a bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and place the artichokes on the trivet, cut-side up. Place the peeled stems on the trivet, if using.
Secure the lid and make sure the vent is in the sealing position. Choose pressure cook or manual, high pressure, and set the timer for 12 minutes. When the time is up, follow the manufacturer's instructions for a quick release.
Meanwhile, gather the ingredients for the lemon-garlic aioli.
In a small blender or immersion blender container, combine the mayonnaise, 2 cloves of minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, cracked black pepper, a dash of kosher salt, and red pepper flakes, if using. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer the dip to a small serving bowl.
The edible part of the leaf is the light-green/white fleshy part at the base. To enjoy the artichokes, remove a leaf, dip the bottom into the aioli, put it in your mouth (inside of the leaf down), and scrape off the soft, fleshy part with your bottom teeth. Discard the rest of the leaf and repeat until all the leaves are removed.
Once you remove the leaves, you will see the fuzzy, hairy looking "choke." Scrape it out with a small spoon and then trim and enjoy the artichoke heart.
If desired, serve with more lemon wedges. Enjoy!
- If you ever thought food or wine tasted sweeter after you ate artichokes, there's a reason for that. The artichoke heart contains cynarin, an acid that stimulates the sweetness receptors on the tongue. Anything you eat after an artichoke might seem sweeter than expected. For that reason, choose a crisp white wine or dry rosé and serve artichokes with savory foods.