Artichokes are in season now and they are delicious, healthy, and mysterious. That said, they are not as intimidating as they look. These veggies are at their peak from March through May.

After you’ve picked up a few of these beauties from your favorite farmers market or grocer, if not using right away, store in a reusable, plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to a week. As a rule of thumb, I usually serve one artichoke per person but always make extras to nibble on later.

When you’re ready to cook them, prepare by cutting off the stem, and about a half inch of the pointy top. Then use a pair of scissors to cut off the ends of the outer leaves that are pointy.

Be sure to save the artichoke hearts, aka the fuzzy, disc-like centers, to add to recipes like this Roasted Artichoke and White Bean Salad.

Steamed Artichokes

  1. Place the trimmed artichokes, bottom side down, into a pan large enough so they can be nestled together and easily stand up.
  2. Add enough water to cover the bottom 1/3 of the artichokes. Cover the pan and steam cook until the artichokes are tender, about 45–60 minutes. Remove them from the pot and onto a cutting board to cool.
  3. Once cooled enough to handle, with a sharp knife cut the artichokes in half, and serve with an aioli sauce or a 1:1 mixture of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, with a swirl of olive oil.

Stuffed Artichokes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Follow Steps 1 and 2 of the Steam Artichokes instructions. Place the whole, cooled artichokes onto a rimmed baking dish.
  3. Per artichoke, mix together 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon each oregano, thyme and parsley. Stuff the mixture in between the layers of artichoke leaves. Drizzle each artichoke with olive oil, cover the dish with foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with a little Kosher salt and serve.