Ever make artichokes vinaigrette? They’re an easy side dish or appetizer perfect for sharing with friends and family.
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During college I studied abroad in Florence and lived with seven other girls. To this day two of them are among my closest friends, including my “twin” Alexandra – we were born the same day of the same year in the same hospital!
We spent a lot of time cooking (and drinking wine) that semester, and I will never forget when Alexandra introduced me to steamed artichokes. Believe it or not, until then I never (knowingly) had an artichoke, and certainly never one prepared this way. I loved the ceremony surrounding eating Artichokes Vinaigrette, and it became one of my favorite appetizers to serve guests and enjoy at the start of a meal at a home.
Over the years my girls have also come to love artichokes vinaigrette. Although for many people the prized part of the artichoke is the heart in the center (covered by the fuzzy choke), my girls love the ceremony around pulling, dipping, and stripping the artichoke meat off the petals. (Never eaten an artichoke this way? Here’s a great tutorial for how to eat an artichoke.) Once you get past all the petals, it takes a bit of work to get to the heart of the artichoke, but it’s worth the effort for those meaty, satisfying bites.
Nutritionally, artichokes are low in calories and a good source of vitamins C and K, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. They are also rich in antioxidants (number 7 on the USDA’s top-20 list of antioxidant-packed foods). Steamed artichokes are a good food to eat when you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight – you are naturally forced to slow down your eating because they take time to get to the meaty center – the prized artichoke heart.
Of course, if your consumption of artichokes is only in the form of spinach artichoke dip (which can rack up 300-800 calories depending on how much you have) or fried artichokes, you’ll be missing the mark on what makes them most nutritious! If you indulge in these higher-calorie artichoke dishes, just remember to watch your portion sizes. All things in moderation!
Making Artichokes Vinaigrette
Years ago when I started making artichokes vinaigrette, I steamed the artichokes in a regular pot, which took about 30 to 40 minutes. These days, I can get artichokes vinaigrette on the table in less than 20 minutes. How? It’s all thanks to the Instant Pot. As an update to this post (which was originally published in 2013), I have included Instant Pot directions below.
For the Artichokes:
- 2-4 medium artichokes
- 1 lemon cut in half
- 5-10 black peppercorns
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1-2 peeled and smashed garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt
For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
- 1 garlic clove,, minced (optional)
- Kosher salt and pepper
To Prepare the Artichokes:
- Pull off the short tough outer leaves of the artichokes and cut off the top 1/2 inch of the artichokes. Using kitchen scissors, trim off the sharp points of the remaining leaves. Rub the cut portion of the artichokes with the cut side of a lemon half.
Making Artichokes in a Traditional Pot:
- Slice the other half of the lemon. Place in a medium to large pot of water along with the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, garlic clove, and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the artichokes to the pot and simmer, covered, until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain, discarding the lemon slices and herbs; let cool slightly.
Making Artichokes in the Instant Pot:
- Slice the other half of the lemon. Place in the inner pot of the Instant pot along with the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, garlic clove, a large pinch of salt, and 1 cup water.
- Put steamer basket in the inner pot and place prepped artichokes on top in a single layer. Close the IP lid and turn the steam release handle to the "sealing" position.
- Press "pressure cook" until the light is on high pressure. Set time to 10 minutes (12 minutes for very large globe artichokes). Step away from the IP and let it do its work.
- When done cooking, using gloves, turn the steam release to the "venting" position to let the steam out. Once the valve has dropped, open the lid and use a pair of tongs to transfer steamed artichokes to a plate or bowl.
To Prepare the Vinaigrette:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, and garlic (if using). Season with salt and pepper. Serve the artichokes with the vinaigrette for dipping.
To Eat the Artichokes:
- Pull off the outer petals of the artichoke one at a time.
- Dip white fleshy end in the vinaigrette. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, vinaigrette side down, and pull through teeth to remove the soft, pulpy portion of the petal. Discard the remaining petal.
- When you get close to the middle of the artichoke, the petals will become prickly and not have a fleshy edible part. DO NOT EAT THESE!
- With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the "choke") covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into the vinaigrette to eat.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2 -4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120