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The artichoke is a classic thistle—a tall, spindly plant with a rough, dinosaur-skin exterior that first developed thousands of years ago in the Levant. Over the centuries, the artichoke spread throughout the Mediterranean, prized for its meaty leaves and tender heart. Our ancestors cultivated scores of artichoke varieties many of which—from the wine-colored siena to the maroon-kissed chianti—are still grown today in Italy and Spain. American farmers, however, almost exclusively grow the bulbous Italian variety called Green Globe.

Don’t be intimidated by the artichoke’s spiky exterior. These versatile vegetables are great dipped in butter or piled on chips as a dip, and there’s so much more you can do with them. Fried, added to soup, folded into pasta or risotto, artichokes are definitely worth the prep work. Our step-by-step guide on trimming and preparing an artichoke can help you get beneath those tough outer leaves into the meaty, tender flesh of the vegetable. If you need a crash course in artichokes, check out our spring produce guide. It’ll give you all the artichoke advice you need, from purchasing and storage to sourcing the best of the bunch and keeping them fresh at home. Here are our 17 favorite ways to eat artichokes.

"Artichoke

Artichoke Risotto with Capocollo and Pecorino

“I come from Milano, which is actually the patria, or land, of risotto,” Goggi says. At Masseria Moroseta in Puglia, she cooks with artichokes from her garden, and is sure to include plenty of their edible stems. She braises the artichokes, then purées them into a cream for cooking the rice, and reserves a few pieces of the hearts for serving. “I love the pairing of capocollo and Pecorino with this dish because they are traditional of this place.” Get the recipe for Artichoke Risotto with Capocollo and Pecorino »
"Marinated
Marinated Artichokes with Prawns and Fino Sherry (Alcachofas Salteadas con Langostinos y Fino)
"Grilled

Grilled Artichokes

Grilled artichokes over embers are delicious, and double as an aphrodisiac. Get the recipe for Grilled Oysters »
"Artichokes

Artichokes with Lemon Za’atar Dipping Sauce

Za’atar is a mixture of sesame seeds, dried thyme, and spices ubiquitous in the Arab world. Here it’s used to make a lemony dip for simmered artichokes. Get the recipe for Artichokes with Lemon Za’atar Dipping Sauce »
"Spring

Spring Vegetable Stew

Any gently simmered mixture of vegetables is truly greater than the sum of its parts. It’s important to cut the ingredients to the proper size and cook them sequentially, starting with the ones that need longer cooking. Get the recipe for Spring Vegetable Stew »
"Roasted

Roasted Artichokes

Though traditionally cooked in embers, these artichokes are equally as succulent when oven-roasted. Get the recipe for Roasted Artichokes »
"Fried

Fried Artichoke Hearts with Taratur Sauce

We found this recipe—a flavorful local favorite, in which tender artichoke bottoms are fried and served with an intense, tahini-based sauce—at al-Az, a casual but well-known restaurant in Damascus. Get the recipe for Fried Artichoke Hearts with Taratur Sauce »

Pasta Shells with Artichoke-Clam Sauce

In this aromatic dish, shell-shape pasta is dressed in a light tomato and clam sauce with artichoke hearts.
"Spinach

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

For this hearty dip, we found that frozen artichoke hearts held up better than jarred ones. Get the recipe for Spinach-Artichoke Dip »
"Calamari

Calamari with Chorizo and Artichokes

Calamari with Chorizo and Artichokes
"Crab,

Crab, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip

Crab dip is made even better when mixed with artichokes and spinach and topped with crispy pepperoni and cracker crumbs. Get the recipe for Crab, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip »
"Vegetable

Vegetable Ragout with Pesto (Ragoût de Légumes au Pistau)

Pairing pistou, an herb sauce made with fresh basil, with tender spring vegetables makes for a bright-tasting seasonal entree.
"Duarte's

Duarte’s Cream of Artichoke Soup

Blending artichoke with heavy cream makes for a velvety and satisfying bowl of soup. Get the recipe for Duarte’s Cream of Artichoke Soup »

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