Artichokes are undoubtedly one of nature’s marvels. They’re a stunning veggie in terms of looks, making them perfect for an impressive side dish to serve up for guests. Not only that, but they’re naturally quite delicious – especially dipped in some melted butter or ghee with a fresh squeeze of lemon. Finally, they boast some wonderful health benefits like most plant foods, so you can feel great about eating them.
This vegetable grows in abundance during the spring and summer, so you can often find fresh artichokes for less money during this time. One of the most off-putting things about this gorgeous veggie is how to cook it. While you can just about steam, sauté, and roast anything else, the artichoke needs a little extra attention in terms of preparation and even how to eat it. I remember the first time I made it, I took off a chunk of the fuzzy part inside – not tasty!
You can opt for the stove top, but like with most foods, the Instant Pot makes it ultra easy to cook these up fast and without fail.
The Instant Pot artichoke method
Even if you’ve never made or eaten an artichoke before, or you’re strictly familiar with the canned ‘chokes, you can make this recipe tonight, if you want to. You can’t go wrong with the Instant Pot method which is both simple and effective. The stove top method takes nearly 40 minutes of tending to the veggie and waiting for this flowering bud to turn into something edible. Imagine biting into the raw artichoke! Anything but perfectly cooked simply won’t do.
First, let’s cover some ground with a few tips that will make cooking artichokes make a bit more sense. First, it’s good to take into account how ripe your artichoke is. You can generally tell by giving it a quick squeeze. While a good artichoke will generally be rather firm and fibrous, if it feels a bit soft in your hands, you can rely on a shorter cooking time like in the instructions below. Because overcooking artichokes is less of a problem – they’ll just have a bit more melt-in-your-mouth potential – a tougher shell might call for adding a few extra minutes.
Since this veggie is seasonal during the warmer months, you could always step things up a notch. Fire up the grill while the pressure is on, and when the artichokes cool down, cut them in half and spread with some butter or oil. Then, toss them face down on the grill for a little extra smoke, those wildly impressive grill lines, and an injection of flavour.
How to make artichokes in the Instant Pot
You need but one ingredient: some artichokes.
1. Chop off the tops of the artichokes (like in the photo above).
2. Place your trivet or a steaming basket into the Instant Pot, and then place the trimmed artichokes inside.
3. Pour a cup of water into the pot.
4. Set for 20 minutes on high pressure.
Try this easy steamed artichoke recipe from Flavorrd.
How to eat artichokes
Okay, it might seem silly to have to explain to you how to eat something, but as someone who has become hopelessly confused mid-artichoke, this is worth covering! You do NOT want to bite into the fluffy bits, or start gnawing on a spiky end of leaf that jabs the inside of your mouth. In short, it can get weird. Avoid the awkwardness!
It’s not hard – simply pull off the outer leaves and petals, and dip the bottom into your preferred sauce. Eat the bottom portion of the petal – it will be soft, tender, and fleshy, and discard the rest. At some point, this will become intuitive, as the tops of the petals are tough and their corners are sharp. Ouch!
There will be a fluffy layer at the base (approximately located where the knife is cutting out in the photo above) that you also want to discard, but stop right there! Below that is the artichoke heart – the luscious part of the veggie that you find in cans, pizzas, and salads all over the place. This is arguably the most delicious bit. Save it for last.
Dress it up: dips & sauces for artichokes
Artichokes are lovely on their own, but they truly need something rich to soak up for that truly magic appetiser dish or snack. You can pull apart the veggie when it comes out and sprinkle with some of your favourite cheese, or simply pour a bit of olive oil and salt on top. You could simply melt a few pats of butter if you want to keep it simple, but here are some inventive ideas – some of which you can make in the Instant Pot!
- Homemade Instant Pot ghee from Paint the Kitchen Red. Ghee is easier to digest than butter – especially for those who are lactose intolerant. Plus, the buttery taste of butter is magnified when you clarify it. Finally, you can make it in the pressure cooker, so it’s perfect for those who are new to making ghee.
- Classic hollandaise from Julia Child. Don’t limit yourself to asparagus and eggs. This gorgeous lemon and butter infusion is the perfect sauce to complement any spring fare including artichokes. Save the rest for eggs benedict – you won’t regret it.
- Basil chimichurri sauce from My Natural Family. A vibrant fresh herb blend keeps it seasonal. Chimichurri or pesto is a great way to jazz up some artichokes and bring a splash of colour to the table.
- Chipotle aioli from Cavegirl in the City. Aioli is made for dipping. You can spice things up or cool things down any which way. You could simply use plain mayo for dipping with perfectly satisfactory results. Chipotle aioli is a great choice for those who have a taste for things a bit on the spicy end.
- Lemon-thyme compound butter from Just a Pinch. Compound butter is a simple concoction of butter + things you like. Lemon is artichoke’s best friend. Then comes butter. Then comes whatever you like. If you’ve got an herb garden, go crazy with it. You can’t go wrong bringing all this flavour to the table, and this “fancy food” couldn’t be simpler to make.
Let us know if you’ve made artichokes in the Instant Pot! It beats the stove-top any day. Share this with your friends who need some summertime recipe inspiration. Share this post on Pinterest from here!