Your step by step-by-step guide to handling one of the most intimidating veggies on the produce aisle.

By Darcy Lenz and Darcy Lenz
Updated February 28, 2018

There is most assuredly a time and a place for jarred marinated artichokes—they primarily involve pizza and hot creamy dips. However, as tasty as those briny little suckers are, if you’ve never enjoyed a fresh artichoke (or maybe you have, but aren’t exactly sure how what you see in the grocery store becomes what you’ve been served in a restaurant), it’s high time you pick up a couple of these gorgeous green globes on your next shopping trip. As intimidating as they may appear, prepping a fresh artichoke for a recipe is actually a fairly simple, and arguably cathartic, kitchen task.

You ready to give it a go? Okie dokie artichokey! Here’s how:

1. First, be sure to choose artichokes that are green with smooth petals and minimal bruising or browning when shopping.

2. Pick off any bottom petals that are ripped, browned or connected to the stem.

3. Using a sharp knife, cut off the bottom of the stem to create a flat base so that the artichoke can stand upright. Rub the cut end with fresh lemon to prevent browning.

4. Slice the top quarter/third (about an inch) from the artichoke to remove the prickly ends and reveal the many layers of petals.

5. Snip the prickly tops from remaining petals using kitchen shears or sharp, clean scissors.

6. Rub freshly cut petals with lemon to prevent browning.

7. Get cooking!

At this point, your artichokes are prepped and ready to be cooked. For most grilled or stuffed artichoke recipes, the artichokes will be steamed first (here's a simple recipe for steaming). Once the artichokes are steamed, you can enjoy them simply with a bowl of garlic aioli on the side.