the perfect artichokes

Artichokes are one of my favorite foods. They are great as a snack or a side dish. This recipe is so simple, healthy, and delicious. My Italian great grandmother who arrived in the USA in her early teens first developed this method. She came from a small village east of Naples and brought some amazing recipes with her. She taught my mother this recipe, who then passed it along to me. My mom told me, "If you try this recipe out, you will never go back to steaming artichokes with just water. It brings out the nutty flavor of the choke, and no dipping aioli needed."


  • artichokes (1 per person)
  • minced garlic (1 clove per artichoke)
  • around 1/4 cup olive oil (this was for 5 artichokes)
  • optional: 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Wash artichokes well and cut off the top third of the choke as well as the stem. Then, place them in a pan with a lid; add enough water to cover only about an inch or two of the pan. Then pour olive oil over the tops of the chokes (it will leak into the water, that's ok). Then put minced garlic on top of the artichokes and try to stuff some into the leaves. If you want you can drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on top. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Check the leaves by tasting for tenderness, add more water if it is drying out.