Slow Cooker Artichokes
Artichokes are super fun for kids to eat and healthy too. And using a slow cooker simplifies artichokes by giving you a longer cooking time, so you might find yourself cooking them more often.
Artichokes — the flowering bud of the thistle plant — are available year round, but will be less expensive in season March through May. Choose artichokes that are heavy for their size with tightly compacted leaves. You can use any number of artichokes that fit into your slow cooker, but typically 4-6 artichokes will fit in a 6-quart crock pot.
And because artichokes are only 25 calories each, you can serve them as an appetizer or first course without worrying that younger kids will fill up before dinner.
How to Cook Artichokes in a Slow Cooker
1 lemon, quartered
Butter, garlic mayonnaise, vinaigrette, or other sauce for dipping
Prep the artichokes as usual
Cut the stems at the base so the artichokes will sit upright for serving.
Slice 1 inch off the top of each artichokes.
Use kitchen shears to snip off the thorny tips of each leaf. Note, technically they aren’t leaves or petals, but artichoke bracts.
As you work, rub lemon over the cut edges to prevent them from browning.
Cook Artichokes in the crock pot
Add 3 cups of water to the slow cooker and squeeze any remaining lemon juice into the water. Place the artichokes and the lemon quarters into the water. Cover and cook until the leaves easily pull away from the base, about 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 hours on LOW.
Remove the artichokes with tongs. Allow the artichokes to cool slightly before serving.
Artichokes may be served hot or cold. Serve with melted butter, aioli, vinaigrette, or another sauce.
How do you eat an artichoke?
Starting with the outer leaves, using your fingers pull individual leaves off one at at time. Dip the base of the leaf into a sauce. Then slide the leave between your teeth to remove the tender, nutty-tasting artichoke bite at the bottom of the leaf — if it doesn’t scrape off easily, then it isn’t cooked enough. Discard the leaf. Continue until all leaves have been removed.
When you find thin, purple-tipped, prickly leaves at the center, just pull these out and discard. Next you will see the “choke” or the fuzzy center with pointy fibers, spoon this away and discard. The bottom of the artichoke is called the heart — slice, dip, and enjoy.
The Splendid Table: Listen, don't look, to your artichoke: The squeak says it all
Cook’s Illustrated: Artichokes and Wine
San Fransisco Chronicle: Castroville: The artichoke heartland
The Smart Slow Cooker: Slow Cooker Vegetables
Watch how to prepare artichokes
Melissa Clark of The New York Times shows how to prepare artichokes for various uses.