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How to choose, prepare, and store Artichokes.
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Buying Artichokes

Look for: an artichoke of any size that feels heavy for its size and has firm, tightly packed leaves that are green (with purple undertones, optional).

Avoid: artichokes with leaves that are spongy, loose, dry, splayed, split, pitted or brown at the tips.

Seasonality: Spring and early fall

Storing Artichokes

Do not rinse or cut the artichoke. Sprinkle the stems with water, and place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Fresh artichokes will keep for 3-5 days.

Preparing Artichokes

Rinse artichoke in cold water, using a soft brush or cloth to remove any film from the exterior. Trim one inch from the top (pointed end) of the artichoke. Cut a quarter inch off the stem. Use kitchen shears to cut the thorns (tips) off of each petal (optional). Rub the cut portion of the top with a lemon to prevent discoloration during cooking (optional). Use  fingers to slightly separate the petals, opening the artichoke so that seasonings can be better distributed. Cook as desired. To prepare the heart, trim the leaves and cut off the top so the fuzzy purple choke is exposed. Use a spoon or melon baller to remove all of the choke, which is not edible. Use a paring knife to remove the outer leaves and base of the stem, leaving only the tender inner stem, or the heart.

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