Artichokes are one of the prettiest and tastiest vegetables! It’s definitely my favorite seasonal vegetable of springtime, I’ve made three just in the past week! Since I’ve been enjoying the so much lately, I knew I had to share with you all this deliciously vegan way of eating them!
Growing up, my mom would frequently make us artichokes for dinner during the spring and summer. As soon as she served them we would dig in, dipping each leaf into a little bowl of melted butter. Once all the meaty leaves were torn off and eaten, my favorite part would come next. My mom would take back what was left of the artichokes and return with the best part of it, the heart. It’s so soft and has a melt in your mouth texture that’s just so delectable. It’s simply amazing!
Since going vegan though, I haven’t tried preparing an artichoke. So now, 2 years into veganism I have finally decided to try my hand at it! I can’t believe it took me this long to give it a shot! It seemed so intimidating at first because I had no clue how to cook it but once I got started I realized it was a breeze. Here’s my easy guide to preparing and eating artichokes.
Artichokes with Roasted Garlicky Vegan Butter (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 1 hour.
2 fresh artichokes (fresher ones will have closed leaves as pictured above)
1 clove of garlic
1 lemon halved
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
1 tsp sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the top off of a garlic bulb as shown in the photo above and brush the top with a little olive oil. Wrap in foil and place directly on the rack once the oven is heated. Roast for 45 minutes.
2. Fill a large pot with water so it’s a bit over halfway full. Add 1 tsp of salt and let come to a boil. Meanwhile, prep the artichokes by washing each well, letting the water pour inside each leaf then drain well.
3. Next, cut about 3/4 inch off of the crown of the artichoke. Chop the stem off of the base of the artichoke and discard.
4. Rub the outside of each artichoke with half of a lemon. This will help prevent discoloration during boiling. Slice up the other half of the lemon into rings.
5. Add the artichokes and lemon rings to the boiling water. Keep the artichokes standing up next to each other. Cover loosely with a lid and let cook until leaves can be easily torn off and the edible part is tender. For small/medium size artichokes, it will take 30-40 minutes and for larger ones like mine, it can take up to 1 1/2 hours.
6. Once the garlic is finished roasting, put the 1/2 cup of Earth Balance vegan butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves. Let this melt and infuse until the artichokes are ready. Once done, transfer to two small bowls and mix each well with a fork, mashing the garlic into the melted butter.
7. When the artichokes are done cooking, drain them in a colander with the crown facing down. Serve each artichoke with a small bowl of roasted garlic butter.
8. To eat the artichokes, tear off a leaf, dip the bottom tender half of the leaf in the garlic butter and then scrape it off with your teeth. Discard the upper, tougher half of the leaf into a separate bowl.
9. Once all the meaty leaves are gone, you will be left with a center of very thin translucent leaves that will need to be pulled off. Underneath those, you will discover the fuzzy center called the “choke” which is inedible. Remove it by gently scooping it out with a spoon, making sure to only remove the fuzzy part. Discard the choke.
10. Now you are left with just the artichoke heart! Cut it up into small pieces and drizzle or dunk in the butter.
I hope this guide and recipe are helpful! Artichokes can be a meal on its own or are delicious when served alongside spaghetti or any other pasta you desire! Enjoy