Eatin' Some Artichokes

Now that our artichoke plant is fruiting, it's time to cut some and eat them

Of course with our garage in disarray and our tools everywhere, I couldn't find our garden shears, so I improvised

The kitchen knife ended up working quite well actually

I followed the directions (that I didn't know at the time but looked up later - I know, quite responsible), by cutting the artichoke about 1"-3" down from the fruited plant

After about 5 minutes I had cut off 5 plants

I left the GIANT one because it had already started opening too much and I wanted to see what the flower would look like.

Last night we boiled them up for eating

The verdict: not really very good :(

There is VERY little meat to eat as the leaves are pretty tough :( and there isn't a lot of flavor (although later there is a much more intense sweet after taste than with store bought ones. At least, that's what I thought, Chris seemed to think I was crazy).

Does anyone know how we can remedy this? I was so excited to have artichokes to eat, but they're really not tasty. I'd like to figure out if we're doing something wrong or if there's some way we can make them more tender so there is more meat to eat off of them (and they were cooked all the way because the leaves were coming off of the plant extremely easily).

Any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated!!!!


Tamara said...


I don't know about the artichokes, but this problem -- of some of the homegrown stuff not turning out so awfully well -- is not uncommon. We grew about five different kinds of melons last summer: inedible. Same problem with bush beans -- totally stringy, even after boiling forever. On the other hands, the tomatoes, arugula, kale, other greens, and several squash varieties were fabulous -- prolific and delicious.

My advice: find things that do work for you in your area, and stick with them, and jettison the rest of the stuff in your future gardens.

Unless someone does have good suggestions about artichokes.

meryl rose said...

that's sorta what I was thinking, but I didn't want to give up on the artichokes JUST yet. Hopefully someone has a good idea, otherwise it may get replaced..... :(

Old House Lover said...

The best part of the artichoke is the heart. Other than that they are a lot of work (eating) for little reward (taste/edible amount). What make's them tolerable is a dipping sauce. We have either melted butter with garlic, either powder or crushed cloves depending on how much effort my wife wants to put into it, or this:

Mustard Sauce
1 small clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons French's Vive la Dijon! mustard
1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash white pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cook garlic in butter in small saucepan 1 minute; add flour and cook until bubbly, stirring constantly. Reduce from heat and stir in mustard, bullion granules, salt and pepper. Return to heat; stir in water gradually. Cook until sauce thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Serve with cooked artichokes. 6 servings.

Source: French's Vive la Dijon! Signature Recipe Collection

meryl rose said...

Thanks for the mustard sauce recipe OHL! Sadly, even the hearts weren't super tasty :( so next time I will definitely try and make some of this sauce to improve them a bit. Thanks so much!!!!

LeighC said...

There was an interview today on Good Day Sacramento with a lady who grows artichokes. Here is her website: http://www.sweetheartartichokes.com/
Maybe she is someone to resource? (There is also a video clip for planting and care)

meryl rose said...

Thanks so much Leigh! They seem to be doing a bit better (more flavor), but I will DEFINITELY check her site out to see how we can improve ours. Thanks again!!!

LeighC said...

I should have stated that her video clip is on Good Day Sacramento http://gooddaysacramento.com/videolibrary
and search for 'how to plant artichokes'. Have a super weekend :)