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How to Cook An Artichoke in the Microwave

How to Cook An Artichoke in the Microwave

Artichokes are part of the choke family, which also contains the thistle. The thorns found on these plants make them seem difficult to prepare and eat, but once you learn a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to enjoy their delicate flavor in no time at all. Keep reading to learn how to cook an artichoke in the microwave.

Typical recipes call for a combination of boiling, roasting, and grilling, but with this easy microwave method, you can free up time spent in the kitchen to enjoy your food, friends, and family. These instructions are for two whole artichokes, but you may alter the cooking time and amount of water for steaming as needed.

Cleaning the artichokes

Taking the time to properly clean artichokes will make them easier to cook, and afterward, to eat. It can be a bit time-consuming to do but is worth the effort. Wash the artichokes and inspect them for any hanging leaves, and pull those off. Use kitchen shears to cut off any thorns on the outer leaves. The leaves furthest from the stem are completely inedible, so place the artichokes on a cutting board and use a sharp serrated knife to cut off the top third of the leaves. Turn the artichokes around, and cut off most of the stem, leaving at least one inch attached to the artichokes. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the outside of the remaining stem, as the outer portion has a very bitter taste.

Microwave steaming the artichokes

How to Cook An Artichoke in the Microwave

Place the artichokes in a microwave-safe bowl, and add ½ cup of water to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid, and microwave the artichokes on high, around 8 minutes for small artichokes or 10 minutes for large artichokes. They are finished steaming when they are very tender and a knife can be easily inserted into the heart or thick part of the stem, and the leaves will easily pull away from the artichokes. If they are still too tough, steam for another minute and test again.

 

To serve

Using a sharp knife, cut the artichokes carefully in half. Place cut side up, and use a spoon to scoop out the choke – the fuzzy needle-like center portion found in the center. Rub the cut sides with lemon, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle on salt and pepper. You can also add other spices, such as thyme.

Serving suggestions for artichokes

olive oil for artichokes

Steamed artichokes are typically served with dipping sauce as an appetizer. From tangy lemon sauce to simple olive oil and herb dip to many other sauces, these are delicious options to serve alongside steamed artichokes.

To make tangy lemon sauce, fill a dipping bowl with plain Greek yogurt, add the juice of half a lemon, chopped fresh garlic to taste, salt and pepper, and fresh chopped parsley. Dip the fresh artichoke leaves in and enjoy.

To make a simple olive oil and herb dip, fill a dipping bowl with olive oil and add minced fresh garlic to taste, salt, pepper, the juice of half a lemon, and herbs such as thyme and oregano to taste. You can also add a bit of crushed red pepper if you desire a bit of heat. Dip the fresh artichoke leaves in and enjoy.

How to Cook an Artichoke in the Microwave: Tips and Tricks

  • The choke is extremely messy and inedible. Ensure you get all of the choke out when you scoop it out with a spoon, and try to get underneath the entire choke on the first try when scooping it out. Scoop from the stem side upwards to get it out with the least amount of trouble.
  • Artichokes oxidize and turn brown very quickly when cut portions are exposed to air. To avoid and slow down this process, rub cut portions with a piece of freshly cut lemon.

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