Oven roasted artichokes are a simple yet stunning appetizer! The vegetable is split in half so that the high oven roasting temperatures create a beautiful caramelized surface. This technique develops deep flavors in the artichoke heart and meaty leaves.
Roasted artichokes are a culinary delicacy, and using the oven is by far my favorite way to cook them. In a short period of time, the elevated dry heat develops new flavors with concentrated nutty notes. There are a few key preparation steps for trimming the leaves and removing the fuzzy choke, but once you learn how to clean them, the roasting part is easy!
Artichokes are packed with nutrition, like fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, but are often times overlooked when browsing at the market. Although for those who know how to cook artichokes can easily create a gourmet hands-on appetizer that pairs nicely with simple seasonings or dips.
How do you prepare the artichokes for roasting?
To create the most fork-tender edible parts of the artichoke, the leaves need to be cut, sharp tips trimmed, base and stem peeled, and choke removed. Start by cutting about 1-inch of the top leaves, and removing the smaller harder to eat leaves off the bottom. Use kitchen shears to trim off the pokey tips of the remaining leaves.
Use a paring knife to clean away the tough outer layer on the steam and bottom, they are edible! Cut the artichoke in half and then use a spoon to remove the inedible fuzzy choke. Add to a lemon water bath to prevent the cut areas from browning.
How to roast artichokes
- Trim the top and the stem.
- Remove a few rows of the bottom outer leaves, then trim off the sharp tips.
- Peel away the tough skin on the bottom and stem.
- Cut artichoke in half through the center.
- Remove the inedible fuzzy choke.
- Place artichoke in lemon water.
- Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Place cut side down, cover with foil and roast at 475ºF (246ºC) until tender.
What’s the best method to roast artichokes?
Once the artichokes have been cleaned and halved, cooking them in olive oil, salt, and pepper brings out their natural earthy flavors. It’s important to tightly cover the artichokes with foil. This allows the moisture from inside of the cells of the vegetable to release and turn to steam first, keeping the leaves moist while tenderizing the meat.
Over time as the water evaporates, the high temperatures initiate Maillard browning and caramelization from the small amount of natural sugars. Roasting them cut side creates a golden-brown crust that has an incredibly rich flavor. You really don’t need a sauce, just a squeeze of lemon and your taste buds will be happy.
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How do you select artichokes at the store
Do a visual inspection for vibrant green leaves that are compact around the center. Check the leaves for dryness and see if the bottom petals break off too easily. A good sign of a fresh moist artichoke is if when squeezed, makes a squeaky sneaker sound.
- 2 quarts (1 L) water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice
- 3 large (454 g) artichokes
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 lemon wedges
- Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat to 475ºF (246ºC).
- Fill a large bowl with water and lemon juice.
- Prepare artichokes by using a chef’s knife to cut off about 1-inch of leaves from the top of the artichoke.
- Trim the stem by ¾-inches in length. Pull off the bottom 3 to 4 rows of the tough outer leaves.
- Use kitchen shears to trim any sharp tips on the remaining leaves.
- Using a small knife, trim the tough dark green outer layer of the stem and base.
- Cut the artichokes in half through the center.
- Use a spoon to remove the hairy choke and any purple colored leaves.
- Immediately transfer the cut artichokes cut-side down in the lemon water.
- Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
- Coat the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Remove the artichokes from the lemon water, shaking off any excess moisture, it’s ok if the leaves are still wet.
- Place artichokes cut-side up in the baking pan. Evenly drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Carefully rub the olive oil, salt, and pepper between the artichoke leaves.
- Flip the artichokes over, cut-side down. Cover tightly with foil and then place in the oven.
- Roast until the cut-sides are golden-brown and the outer leaves and base can be easily pierced with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Season artichokes with more salt and pepper, and serve warm with lemon wedges.