How to clean artichokes and store them correctly

To clean artichokes by removing thorns and hard leaves, just follow a simple and foolproof procedure from your grandmother.

Artichokes are vegetables rich in property beneficial for the body including that of purifying the liver and intestines. Spring is the ideal time to savor them and prepare them fried, in batter, with pasta or risotto. Many love them but the most hated part is the cleaning.

If you don’t pay particular attention, your fingers turn black and you risk not even cleaning them well. Must know how to cut them and which part to remove. Let’s see how to clean the artichokes by removing the thorns and other excess parts.

Types of artichokes: the most common

Before moving on to the practical part for cleaning artichokes, it should be emphasized that there are different qualities: some tend to be thorny such as Sardinian Maseduil Venetian artichoke from Chioggia or what prickly of Sicily. These are artichokes with a bright green color, an elongated shape and with the characteristic of having the outer leaves full of thorns. Then there are also artichokes that don’t actually have thorns, first of all the Romanesco artichoke characterized by the shape much more spherical and from the color that starts from green and passes to purple.

How to clean artichokes with thorns (and not) in a perfect way


Now that we have made the necessary clarifications we can move on to the heart of the article: or how to clean artichokes. With or without plugs the method is the same however we advise you to wear glovesespecially to handle the prickly artichokes but also to avoid the risk of your fingers turning black due to the high amount of iron that resides in this vegetable and which oxidizes in contact with the air.

Cut artichoke tips

1. The first step is to remove the spikes by cutting off about 2-3 cm of the spikes.

Clean artichoke stem

2. Then also remove the final part of the stem so as to also eliminate the filamentous parts at the base. With a knife, peel the remaining stem well until you reach the lightest and most tender part of the vegetable.

Remove outer artichoke leaves
Remove outer artichoke leaves

3. Now carefully remove the tougher outer leaves and leave the hearti.e. the softest part. It may seem like a waste to you, but the part you eat of the artichoke is very little.

Eliminate artichoke beard
Eliminate artichoke beard

4. Finally go on to remove the beard and, in this case, you can deal with it in two ways: you can cut the artichoke in half and remove the central beard with a knife or corer, and then proceed to cut the vegetables according to the recipe you want to prepare. Alternatively you can leave the artichoke whole (especially if you want to prepare the classic artichokes alla giudia or alla romana), gently widen the leaves and remove the centered beard with a corer or a spoon.

Immerse artichoke in acidulated water

5. Now that you have finished cleaning the artichokes, remember to immediately immerse them in a basin of water and lemon juice, so that they do not turn black. Grandmothers often also bathed artichokes in water and milk before serving them raw in salads.

And here is the video with all steps:

Preserving fresh artichokes


It is good to bear in mind that artichokes, in contact with the air, they oxidize very quickly. It is therefore necessary to know how to treat and preserve them in the best possible way so as not to have to waste them or not to lose part of their properties.

Did you know that when artichokes are very fresh they can be kept in a vase full of water, immersed on the stem side? Just like i fiori! If, on the other hand, you want to keep them in the fridge, you have to remove the stem and the tougher outer leaves. Then it will have to wash them, dry them and put them in a container hermetic. In this way, in a cool place and without direct contact with oxygen, they will keep for at least 5-6 days.

In addition, artichokes can also be frozen. First, however, it will be necessary to clean them, cut them, blanch them in water and lemon for a few minutes and leave cool down.

Artichoke: properties and nutritional values

Artichokes are a real panacea for the well-being of our body as they are a mine of active ingredients and have many nutritional virtues.

First of all I am a low-calorie foodindeed every 100g of artichokes can hardly be counted 47 kcal of which 0.2 g of fat; 94 mg of sodium; 370 mg of potassium, 3.3 g of protein plus 11 g of carbohydrates (mostly made up of a particular starch, theinulin). The latter is able to reduce the level of blood sugar. In addition to this artichokes are rich in folic acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus.

They are cholesterol-free and are very rich in iron, an essential element in the treatment of anemia. They have a good amount of dietary fiber, which is useful for the proper functioning of the intestine. They also contain cynarin, an element that facilitates digestion and cleanse the liver.

And now that you know everything, try our best artichoke recipes!

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