Steamed Artichokes

February 11, 2013

The simple things are often the most dazzling. Isn’t that true?

Take this artichoke. Plucked proudly from my parents’ garden, we praised the natural beauty and prepared it without a lot of fuss. Steamed with salt, served with butter. It was at once so simple, and so glorious. Truly, dazzlingly, delicious.


I remember seeing grand buckets of artichokes for sale at the markets in Sicily. I’d gaze longingly into their hearts with a combination of curiosity and wonder in my heart. How on earth was I to tackle such a beautiful beast? Back at home I’ve finally learnt how to respect this gorgeous thistle…with simplicity and admiration. And butter.

Eating an artichoke as we did on Saturday night, oh so simply, is a soul-enriching ceremony. Share or make it a greedy solo affair. I encourage both options.



I’ve said it before…sometimes, often, simple is best.

Heidi xo

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  • Terry Turtle February 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Great photo! I do love the taste of artichoke – keen to try it so simply 🙂

  • dayna @ February 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Artichokes are, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful fruits. The soft green color, the floral shape… I'm planning my garden, but never dreamed of growing my own until this post. Now I want to try, if only so I can experience the simplicity of a garden-plucked, steamed artichoke for myself.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) February 11, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I must say, I am a little intimidated when it comes to cooking artichokes. Must fix that asap!

  • Cecilia February 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Love artichokes! Mum makes a lemon and olive oil mix to dip the leaves into, and now your post as me wanting some!

  • Heidi February 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Terry – you'll have to give it a go!

    Dayna – beautifully said, lady 🙂

    Lisa – they're just SO easy 🙂

    Cecilia – oooh yum, that sounds fab!

    Heidi xo

  • Hannah February 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I love this! Artichokes aren't something I've cooked with- but this makes it seem so simple & elegant…I will be on the lookout 🙂 x

  • The InTolerant Chef February 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Just perfect indeed! I grew my very first artichoke this year too, and was very proud of myself 🙂

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Couldn't agree more! Simple also lets us taste the item for what it should taste like 😀

  • Hannah February 12, 2013 at 5:13 am

    I grew up (almost literally; I may have been weaned on them) eating my mum's famous marinated artichoke hearts, so have never really imagined making them or eating them like this. But oh yes, simple is exquisite. xo

    (And I'm not just saying that because a busy weekend led to me eating tvp and carrots for lunch today 😛 )

  • thechambraydiary February 12, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I've always shied away from artichokes in their natural state not knowing how to prepare them. This looks (and sounds) divine!

  • Lisa @ Blithe Moments February 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Heidi, I need a blow by blow guide to cooking and eating artichoke. Other than the marinated ones in a jar I've never had anything to do with them and I find them rather intimidating. Please tell me what the hell to do with them start to finish so I won't embarrass myself!

  • Heidi February 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Just follow the recipe link! It is SO easy & truly there is absolutely no fuss at all. Next up I'd love to make some sort of pasta dish with the heart…or risotto…mmm. Have fun! xo

  • Heidi February 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Hannah – you'll just lovely them, lady, I know it!

    InTolerant Chef – woohoo! Well done 🙂

    Lorraine – precisely 🙂

    Hannah – busy means fun I hope 🙂 I love that you grew up on artichokes. They're pretty new to me. In love!

    thechambraydiary – yes they're quite intimidating, but truly so simple!

    Heidi xo

  • leaf (the indolent cook) February 13, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I do love a good artichoke, and this is beautiful with its simplicity.