How to Break Down Artichokes

Amanda Freitag shows us how to break down artichokes and shares a super-simple way to preserve them. 

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Step 1

Before you trim the artichokes: Fill a large pot with cold water and squeeze 3 lemons into it (this makes what is known as acidulated water). Later, the cut artichoke hearts will have to head straight into the lemon water to keep them from browning. 

 

To trim the artichokes: Lay an artichoke on its side and trim the brown, woody tip of the stem. Using a very sharp or serrated knife, cut the top one-third of the thorny artichoke leaves off, leaving a flattened top. 

Step 2

Use your hands to tear off the toughest outermost leaves from around the bottom of the artichoke, leaving most of the leaves untouched.

Step 3

Lay the artichoke on the board again, and this time cut it in half lengthwise, from stem to top. 

Step 4

Using a paring knife or a peeler, carefully peel off the outermost layer of the stem.

Step 5

Use a spoon to scrape away the inedible furry choke in the center of the artichoke. 

Step 6

Voila — you have an artichoke heart! Quick, put it in the acidulated water. Repeat to trim the rest of the artichokes.

Amanda's Advice (Plus a Recipe)

Start small and tackle baby artichokes first, then move on to the big ones — the prep is essentially the same. "The small size of baby artichokes makes them inherently more tender and edible," she says. 

Get the Recipe: Marinated Artichokes