Preparing Artichokes

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About
Before cooking artichokes whole, you must trim them, taking care not to prick your fingers with the sharp thorns that are often on the tip of each leaf.
Artichokes are trimmed in the following manner:
  1. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top third of the artichoke.
  2. If leaving the stem on, cut about an inch off of the lower stem; then, using a vegetable peeler, peel off the tough outer covering to reveal the inner, tender, almost-white flesh.
  3. If removing the stem, hold the trimmed artichoke in one hand and the stem in the other and, twisting in opposite directions, neatly pull off the stem. (On larger artichokes, the stem is often very fibrous, which makes for unpleasant eating.)
  4. Using kitchen shears or a serrated knife, trim off the top bit of each leaf to eliminate any of the thornlike tips and to make a neat package.
  5. Place in cold water to cover by at least 1 inch, swishing the water about with your hands to agitate and loosen any dirt or foreign matter.
  6. Drain well.
  7. Wash thoroughly under cold running water.