These Babies are Bitter

Do you ever make Steamed Artichokes and love dipping the leaves into lemon butter sauce?  I do.  Spring is the season for the freshest artichokes and something we only see in the spring, Baby Artichokes. Normally baby veggies are the most delicious so I decided to try them.

I steamed them and had my sauce ready for dipping but when I tried to dip, I was disappointed.  The baby leaves had nothing on the ends that resembled an artichoke and they hadn’t developed enough for dipping.  Bummer.  Eager to dip,  I went right for the prize in the middle, the heart, the most delicious part of the artichoke and usually worth the work it takes to get there.  Not in this case.  Strike two; the baby artichoke heart was bitter.   Bottom line, I would much rather have a large artichoke with large leaves and a large heart. Goes to show, it’s always good to have a big heart.

This recipe is for regular sized Steamed Whole Artichokes and I think you’ll like them.

Steamed Whole Artichokes



  1. Put the water in a large pot and bring to simmer. Meanwhile, prepare artichokes.
  2. Cut off the stems close to the base. Pull off the tough, lower petals. Cut off the top inch of the artichoke. Trim off the thorny tips of outer petals with kitchen shears.
  3. Place artichokes in simmering pot, bottoms up. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Artichokes are done when a knife inserted in the base meets no resistance.
  4. To eat, pull off leaves, squeeze with a little lemon (if desired) and dip in melted butter. Scrape off the tender part of the leaf with your front teeth. When you reach the center, remove the prickly purple leaves and the fluffy thistle layer that covers the disc-shaped and delicious artichoke heart.
  5. For smaller portions, cut the steamed artichokes in half and remove the prickles and fluff before serving.

2 responses to “These Babies are Bitter

  1. I havent tried cooking baby artichokes and Im glad I came across your post. I didn’t know they were bitter if they are small. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alisa,
      I love,love artichokes too. I learned my lesson on these though and I’m glad I could steer you away from them. Not only do the large artichokes have a sweet flavor, there’s so much more to eat and heart in the middle is bigger and better too! o

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