How to Cook and Eat Artichokes with Vinaigrette

by Lavinia Drake

If you’ve never eaten an artichoke the traditional French (?) way, here is how to. Its not something to cook if your in a hurry, as eating them takes time and is an experience itself. They are a labour of love, not because they take a lot of prep to cook but there is an art to peeling off each leaf and scraping the flesh off with your teeth! Sound grim,  this is the most carnivorous I get as a vegan!

Being in Belgium, I picked up a couple of large artichokes in the supermarket, and here they are.


If you’ve bought one and have no idea what to do here is, how to cook an artichoke.


2 artichokes

2 garlic cloves

2 slices of lemon


To prepare the artichoke, cut the large stalk off the base, so you are left with about 1 inch stump. Boil a large pan of water with the pan about 1/4 full, I put one artichoke in each pan. Add a slice of lemon and a whole garlic clove in the pan with the artichoke. The lemon and garlic release extra tastes and aromas, which complement the artichoke. Leave the artichoke to boil/steam for about 30 minutes, turn every 10 minutes to ensure all sides cook.

Then remove from the pan and drain. Serve on a plate with a small dish of vinaigrette. Pull the outside leaves off, one at a time, and dip into the vinaigrette and pull through your teeth, biting off the fleshy bit.

Be aware of the steam when you get near the centre, as the artichoke will hold the heat. When you get to the heart, you’ll just have the spikey thistle part left. You’ll need to cut/scoop these off the heart with a knife. Once you’ve removed all the spikes dip the heart into more vinaigrette and eat.

Make sure you’ve got napkins to hand, it can get messy!

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