I feel like every time I get something new in my Imperfect Foods box, I take it as a culinary challenge. What new types of dishes can I learn to make? What have I not learned how to make yet? So when two beautiful artichokes were in my box, well, I just had to try an all-time classic appetizer and learn how to roast atichokes.
As you can see, I roasted two artichokes with full intentions of sharing these with my husband as a little Friday-night appetizer. But, well, I didn’t share. I gobbled up both of these with a glass of red wine and felt immensely satisfied afterward. I’m already excited to make them again.
First, let’s talk about the origin of the artichoke because I think it’s important to understand the history of our food. According to National Geographic, artichokes (also known as thistles) have been on tables since the days of ancient Greece and Rome. There’s even a story about Zeus where he turned a woman he loved into an artichoke for sneaking home to visit her family.
Artichokes have been a familiar food in Mediterranean countries for thousands of years, and if you read the entire account of the artichoke on NatGeo, it has a pretty wild history. So as you learn how to roast artichokes and give this tutorial a try yourself, you can think of Zeus, Rome, and how one Italian painter even attacked someone over a plate of these.
How to eat a roasted artichoke
When you eat a roasted artichoke, you actually don’t eat the whole leaf. What you’re really going for is the inside of it, which is the artichoke heart. You’ll pull apart each leaf on the artichoke and dip it in a garlic butter sauce (which I’ll teach you how to make). The bottom of the leaf is the soft part that you’ll consume. To eat, gently bite on the bottom half and scrape off the yummy artichoke heart with your teeth. It sounds strange, I know, but trust me it’s so, so good.
How to store artichokes
If you don’t plan on roasting artichokes right away, it’s best to store them in a plastic (or reusable silicone) bag. Rinse them off first so they have a little moisture, then place them in a bag and in the crisper. I would say try to roast them within a week after storing them this way. If the leaves start to get brittle on the tips, it’s time roast that baby!
Wait, my artichoke is turning brown!
Do not panic! Clearly, you can see in these photos, that will happen. Artichokes oxidize when cut open, which means similarly to avocados when they are cut open, they will start to brown. However, you may notice that artichokes will actually turn brown really fast. Don’t worry, they will still taste perfectly fine. Nevertheless, if you find yourself feel freaked out by looking at a brown artichoke, you can simply squeeze some lemon on the surface. Or you can let the artichokes soak in water with lemon for a bit. Lemon is a natural acidic that will slow down the oxidation process for the artichoke. But you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to—clearly I didn’t.
Alright, here’s my step-by-step process on how to roast artichokes.
Trim the stems
You’re not going to need the whole stem when you roast, so to make space in your little casserole dish, trim those bad boys. I would say at least 1/2 inch for the stems, or more depending on how much room you need. Just leave at least an inch of the stem so the leaves all don’t fall apart while roasting.
Chop an inch off the tops
Let’s be clear about something: When you roast artichokes, you aren’t actually eating the leaves. You’re eating the cooked artichoke heart on the inside, and you’ll scoop out the good stuff with your teeth and discard the leaf. AKA, you aren’t going to need the whole leave, so chop it. I found using a serrated knife to be the easiest way to cut those tough leaves.
Trim the leaf edges
Those parts are going to pointy, and the last thing you want is for them to poke you when you eat the roasted artichokes later. So use some kitchen shears and cut off the tips for all the leaves.
Rinse the artichokes, then cut in half vertically.
Once you’ve trimmed the artichokes, give them a really good rinse under the water. Cut the artichokes in half vertically, right through the stem.
As you can see, they are already oxidizing. Remember, this is okay! They will roast just fine. You can always squeeze some lemon juice on top if you want to slow the oxidation process.
Scoop out the “fuzzy” part
As you can see, there’s a little fuzzy spot inside the artichoke. Don’t freak out! Just scoop it out with a spoon like you would with the inside of a pumpkin or a butternut squash. It’s all gonna be okay, y’all.
Brush with lemon and oil
I squeezed half a lemon into a small bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil, mixed it up, and brushed it on the surfaces of the artichokes—as displayed. The season each half with some salt and pepper.
Stuff with chopped garlic and herbs
Chop one garlic clove for every 1/2 of artichoke you need to stuff, and top with some fresh herbs. I had fresh parsley in my fridge, but you can also use fresh thyme or rosemary. I learned that topping the artichoke with the herb helps to cage in that roasted garlic, so the artichoke can really get that garlicky flavor.
Flip and brush the outside with oil
Holding the garlic and herbs together inside the artichoke, gently flip it over so the surface is facing up. Brush the outside of the artichoke halves using the same oil/lemon concoction you made earlier.
Roast at 400 for 45 to 60 minutes.
The roasting will depend on how hot your oven gets. For my artichokes, I ended up roasting them at 400 degrees for 60 minutes. To know when your artichokes are done, pinch one of the artichoke leaves and gently pull. If it falls off easily, it is ready.
Dip in a garlic butter sauce
You have delicious roasted garlic, so you might as well use it! Whisk together a few chunks of the garlic in a bowl with 1 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper if desired.
And that, my friends, is how to roast artichokes. Here’s a recipe card if you want to save it or even print it for later! Always reach out if you have any questions about my recipes, or simply comment below. I’m happy to assist you in any way I can!
Other appetizers to make
Looking for even more bites for your happy hour at home? Here are a few more things you can whip up with that glass of red wine. Or sparkling sangria, whatever floats your boat.
- Italian Bruschetta with Goat Cheese
- Prosciutto Cucumber Bites
- Sourdough Focaccia Bread
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip
Or keep it simple with a cheeseboard!
- 2 artichokes
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp olive oil plus some for the pan
- 8 sprigs parsley
- 1 Tbsp butter melted
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- If you want to prevent browning, dunk the artichoke in a bowl of water with some lemon juice (optional).
- Slice off at least 1/2 inch of the artichoke stem.
- Slice 1 inch off the top of the artichoke tip. This is easiest with a serrated knife.
- Slice the artichokes in half vertically.
- Soop ou the fuzzy part of each artichoke half at the center and compost/discard.
- Spread some oil on the bottom of a glass casserole dish or roasting pan. Place the artichokes, outer leaf-side down.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with juice from 1/2 of the lemon. Brush the oil mixture on the artichoke, then gently season each half with salt and pepper.
- Chop a garlic clove and fill an artichoke half with it. Do this for all four halves. Top with fresh parsley, or if you have it, thyme or rosemary. This cages in the garlic so it stays in place.
- Flip the halves over and brush the outside of the artichoke halves with the oil mixture.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for at least 50 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need a bit longer. You'll know it's done if the leaves easily fall off when you gently pull on them.
- Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl for 30 seconds in the microwave. Smash the chopped bits of one roasted garlic clove and whisk in with the butter.
- Sprinkle in some pepper in the garlic butter and serve.