The easiest artichoke recipe that uses the whole vegetable

LOS ANGELES - THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019: Artichoke Vinaigrette cooked/styled by Genevieve Ko and prop
A sizzling shallot vinaigrette soaks into a boiled artichoke between its leaves in this eat-with-your-fingers spring dish.
(Dylan + Jeni / For The Times)

Simply boiling artichokes whole in very salty water makes them soft enough to open like a blooming flower and accentuates their delicate grassy taste. Dousing the still-warm petals with a simple shallot vinaigrette infuses each bite with a tangy-sweet richness. Raw shallot has a bite that can overpower artichokes’ delicate flavor, so here it’s flashed with hot oil to mellow out before mixing with sherry vinegar. Serve extra sauce on the side for dipping as you would mayo.

LOS ANGELES - THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019: First in series of photos on how to peel an artichoke styled
At the market, look for globe artichokes that are bright green with firm stems.
(Dylan + Jeni / For the Times)

Artichokes With Sizzling Shallot Vinaigrette

View this recipe and more in our California Cookbook »


1 ½ hours, largely unattended. Serves 4 to 8.

  • 4 whole globe artichokes (3 pounds)
  • ¼ cup kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 large shallot, very finely chopped (¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • Piment d’espelette, Aleppo pepper or other red chile flakes, to taste

1 Snap the stem off an artichoke by holding one on its side against a cutting board and pressing down on the stem with your other hand. The stem should come off with fibers clinging to it. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.

LOS ANGELES - THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019: Second in series of photos on how to peel an artichoke style
When you snap off the artichoke stem by hand instead of cutting it, the fibers come out too.
(Dylan + Jeni / For the Times)

2 Put the artichokes in a wide pot large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover by 1 inch (about 4 quarts), then add the salt. Cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat.


3 Reduce the heat to medium and boil, covered, until a paring knife pierces through the base easily, 45 to 55 minutes.

LOS ANGELES - THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019: First in series of photos on how to peel an artichoke styled
Boiling artichokes whole until tender makes it easy to peel them.
(Dylan + Jeni / For the Times)

4 Meanwhile, put the shallot in a medium bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the hot oil over the shallot. Once the sizzling dies down, stir in the vinegar and a pinch of piment d’espelette.

5 Use a slotted spoon to transfer the artichokes to a colander set over a bowl to catch dripping hot water. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

6 Put the artichokes upright on serving dishes. Gently press down on the top of each with your palm to open the petals like a blooming flower. Stir the vinaigrette again and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon half the vinaigrette over the artichokes and transfer the remaining to serving dishes.

LOS ANGELES - THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019: Third in series of photos on how to peel an artichoke styled
When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, pluck the leaves. They’ll come right off.
(Dylan + Jeni / For the Times)

7 Serve warm, plucking off the petals and dipping the bottoms into the vinaigrette to eat the meat by scraping it off with your teeth. Discard the tops of the petals. When you get to the center, cut the artichoke hearts in half and cut out and discard the fuzzy chokes if you’d like. Dip the hearts in the vinaigrette and eat.

Make Ahead: The vinaigrette can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature and stir well before serving.


LOS ANGELES - THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019: Third in series of photos on how to peel an artichoke styled
After you remove the leaves of a boiled artichoke, you’ll be left with the heart.
(Dylan + Jeni / For the Times)

tl;dr: The easiest way to prep artichokes

The technique above for boiling artichokes whole is the easiest way to get to their hearts when a recipe calls for them. Professional chefs often trim and peel artichokes raw, but the technique requires knife skills, acidulated water and inevitable pricks from the leaves’ spikes. To get the same result without a scratch, follow the recipe above and leave out the vinaigrette. The hearts can be used right away or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week or frozen in a resealable plastic freezer bag for up to 1 month — and you eat the boiled leaves as a reward for your work.

LOS ANGELES - THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019: Fourth in series of photos on how to peel an artichoke style
Use a spoon to scoop out the hairy choke from the hearts of large, mature globe artichokes.
(Dylan + Jeni / For the Times / Dylan + Jeni / For the Times)

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