The artichoke is a vegetable that many people love but have little idea what to do with. Maybe it’s because it can be tough to get the tough leaves tender. Or maybe, unless you’re shown how to prepare them, cleaning and cooking fresh artichokes lacks an easy, intuitive response.

When it comes to handling the fresh thing…its big, foreign and expensive, so most times we skip right over them and reach for the green beans, or we simply feed our indulgence for this mystifying vegetable in the canned food aisle instead with: marinated artichoke hearts in oil or brine or pureed in dips or mixed in spreads and jams.

This post will, I hope, demystify a vegetable that we want to be friendly with. I’ll show you how to clean, stuff and eat a fresh artichoke. .



2 large fresh artichokes

1 cup (226.8g) unseasoned bread crumbs (you can use gluten free if you like)

1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese (optional)

1 cup fresh parsley leaves – chopped

1 large (or two medium) fresh garlic cloves

A drizzle of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste




Rinse and dry each artichoke. Remove the toughest outer leaves along the bottom. With kitchen shears (or scissors) cut the tips of each (except the tender inner leaves) leaf. With a sharp knife slice off the top of the artichoke and the stem (leaving just a short stump so it can easily sit upright in the pan).

Of course after you’ve cleaned and cut them, you can at this point simply steam them, but this is so much more fun to make and eat.


Chop parsley and garlic into a fine chop and mix with the bread crumbs. Add parmesan if you like. Season with salt and pepper


Spread apart each row of leaves and fill with the bread crumb mixture. When they’re filled, set them in a pot just big enough to hold them up. (Three is actually easier than two, but dinner tonight was for two so…). Fill the pot with water reaching almost to the top of the bottom row. (This is why you can’t cut the whole stem off – you need some height). Add a slice of lemon to the water to keep them green.

Drizzle each row with some extra virgin olive oil – making sure to drizzle the oil into the breadcrumbs.

Cover and simmer for about an hour or until the leaves are tender and you can easily pull one out.


Remove when done and place on a plate with a bit more olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper for dipping.


And now for the eating.


The outside of the leaves don’t get eaten. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. So grab a leaf. Hold it from the cut tip and simply scrape the inner goodness between your teeth.



It isn’t the most elegant maneuver (which is why I like to eat them at home) but boy are they good. The inside leaves are tender enough to eat whole. And when you get to the core (pictured on the lower right) you’ll see it covered with lots of hairy stuff. Don’t eat that. It’s awful. Pull out the hair to reveal the heart of the artichoke – tender enough to slice with your fork.  It’s the best part.

If this seems like a lot of trouble, don’t be deterred…it’s worth the trouble.

Now over to you.

Was this helpful?

Have you ever cooked fresh artichokes? If not, are you willing to now?

  1. liane October 17, 2014 at 1:12 am - Reply

    I have always wondered how to do this! The pictures are super helpful… in the past I wasn’t sure how much to remove of the outer leaves. Trying this weekend… with a nice white wine!

    • chefsilvia October 17, 2014 at 3:49 am - Reply

      Yeah! That’s exactly what I was hoping for. Please come back and let us know how they turn out Liane!

  2. Kim October 17, 2014 at 2:52 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for the stuffed artichoke recipe. I believe we share the same appreciation for artichokes. I have fond memories as a child waiting for everyone to finish theirs, leaving all the discarded leaves and hairy heart. I was the only one who thought the middle was worth the trouble of scooping off the prickly hairs revealing the delicious heart. I would clean everyone’s and then dip them in a little salted butter. Yum yum! I now make them for my family, unfortunately for me they all enjoy the heart too. We don’t have them often, they are a pricey side dish for eight. But I am looking forward to trying this recipe, it looks amazing! Thanks again:)

    • chefsilvia October 17, 2014 at 3:52 am - Reply

      Oh…another artichoke aficionado! And yes the heart is the best! In artichokes and people!! Thanks for your comment Kim.

  3. Camille LoParrino October 17, 2014 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    OMG how wonderful to re-visit this delicacy! Thank you, Silvia!

    • chefsilvia October 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      I aim to please. Thanks so much Camille for letting me know this was something you wanted.

  4. Brenda October 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Chef Silvia, artichoke is definitely one of my favorites. I always order it at restaurants BUT you’re right, I have no idea how to make it myself. I even tried it once and it was an epic fail. I will attempt it again with your wonderful recipe. thank you!

    • chefsilvia October 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      I’m so glad Brenda. Please come back here and let us know how your attempt with artichokes works out.

  5. Beth K Bedbury October 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Those look seriously yummy! Now all I need is others in my family to like the artichoke.

  6. Sonja October 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    This looks delicious!

  7. april October 21, 2014 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    i definitely fall into the “no idea what to do with” category. :) thank you, silvia, for such a detailed and delicious-looking recipe!

  8. Viki Stanley-Hutchison October 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Wow! Thank you! I have always avoided artichokes because I truly didn’t know what to do with them! Now I know! :D

  9. Melissa October 22, 2014 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Oh WOW girl!! My husband saw this photo and was all over it. So guess what I get to try next? Thanks for the lesson and recipe!

    • chefsilvia October 22, 2014 at 1:20 am - Reply

      Melissa, you are being led to a real treat. So glad you’re going to make this. Please let us know how it turns out.

  10. Lori D P October 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Love them. My Nana made them growing up. She also added pecorino romano cheese in the
    breadcrumbs.. great tutorial on how to do it..thanks.

  11. […] Easter Sunday at my sisters house with 12 family members,  I made stuffed artichokes and scalloped potatoes. The artichokes were made how my mother used to make them so they were a […]

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