Have you ever wondered how to roast whole artichokes? The method is simple and these whole roasted artichokes flavored with garlic, lemon, and olive oil are just amazing.
This post was originally published in 2010 and has been updated with a printable recipe. Scroll to the very bottom of the post to print.
I grew up in central California where I certainly ate my fair share of artichokes over the years. And during those four years I spent in Sicily, I probably ate way more than my fair share. Sorry, it couldn’t be helped.
My standard way of cooking whole artichokes is to steam them until tender and then eat them by peeling off the leaves one by one, dipping each into mayo before scraping off the tiny bits of artichoke “meat” with my teeth.
I continue to do this until I have ingested way more mayonnaise than any person needs to consume in one sitting (as evidenced by the huge pile of artichoke leaves towering in front of me by the time I’m done) and I have made my way to the heart, which I carefully trim and clean before eating it with even more mayo.
In Sicily it was different. There, I mostly ate smaller artichokes that were drizzled with fruity olive oil and grilled over an open flame.
Of course I cook and eat whole artichokes in other ways, too. I love stuffing whole artichokes with a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic, Pecorino, and fresh herbs. I’ll definitely be sharing that recipe here someday.
I also love artichoke hearts prepared just about any way you can imagine (especially breaded, fried, and drizzled with tart lemon-butter). I love cheesy, bubbling artichoke dips and I love artichoke soups!
While I do enjoy eating artichokes in a variety of ways, I haven’t branched out much when cooking whole artichokes at home. I’ve steamed them and boiled them and occasionally I will finish a partially steamed or boiled artichoke on the grill, but that’s about it.
So when I ran across this method for Simple Roasted Artichokes, I knew I had to give it a try.
I don’t know why I never learned how to roast whole artichokes, but now that the heat of summer is gone and it’s not unreasonable to have the oven on for long periods of time, I will definitely be using this method more often!
Here are some step-by-step photos to show you how to roast and eat a whole artichoke. The printable recipe can be found at the very bottom of this post.
I started with these gorgeous artichokes that I picked up at a fruit stand in Gilroy the other day. This is one of the many reasons I love living in California.
First, I sliced off the top third of the artichoke with a sharp knife. All of that part is inedible, so you aren’t wasting anything by doing this. Plus, it looks so pretty!
Next, I cut off the stem right at the base of the artichoke. The stem is edible if peeled, so you can save it if you want. Mine didn’t come with much of a stem, so I didn’t bother saving it. Also, the stem can sometimes be bitter.
With the stems cut off at the base, the artichokes will sit up nicely on their own. Aren’t they beautiful? There’s really no need to trim the thorns off the tops of the leaves, as they will soften during the long roasting time.
Now tear off a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil, drizzle it with a few drops of olive oil, and smear it around.
Place one artichoke in the middle of the foil and open up the leaves a bit with your fingers. Tuck a couple peeled garlic cloves into the artichoke. Sprinkle kosher salt all over it then squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over the top.
I used half a lemon per artichoke and probably drizzled a tablespoon or so of oil (maybe more).
Once you’ve seasoned the whole artichokes for roasting, wrap the foil up around them, sealing it well. If you don’t have heavy duty aluminum foil, wrap it with an extra sheet of the regular kind. Repeat with as many artichokes as you want.
Place wrapped artichokes in a pan and roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for one hour and 15 minutes. If you are using small artichokes, one hour is good. Jumbo artichokes might take an hour and a half.
To make sure the artichoke it done, turn it over and pierce the bottom of the artichoke with a thin knife. The knife will slide in easily when it is tender enough to eat.
After removing them from the oven, let artichokes rest until cool enough to handle, then unwrap. The garlic will be soft and sweet and delicious– you’ll probably want to eat that first.
Next, start peeling off the leaves one by one, and enjoy the garlicky, lemony, salty olive oil as you scrape each one with your teeth. I didn’t even need mayonnaise this time!
If you’ve never dealt with a whole artichoke before, you might be a little confused or intimidated when it comes to finding the heart.
I’m here to help.
Remove all the leaves until it looks something like the photo above. There will be a bunch of thin tender leaves gathered in the middle.
Grab the remaining leaves with your fingers, grasp the bottom of the artichoke with your other hand, and pull.
You can’t see me holding it with both hands, because one hand had to take these pictures!
The whole thing should pop right off like a cap, leaving some furry-looking stuff behind, which is called the choke.
Take a spoon and gently scrape out the choke.
You’re not going to want to eat that part, so just add it to your pile of discarded leaves.
What you have left is what I call the heart, but might be more accurately described as the artichoke bottom.
Whatever you want to call it, it is absolutely delicious and my favorite part of the artichoke!
The fork is only there for show— I always eat the entire artichoke with my hands.
The artichoke heart is delicious on its own or dipped in mayonnaise or aioli.
While these whole roasted artichokes did take a long time to cook, they were definitely worth the wait! Whole roasted artichokes are simple to prepare and simply delicious.
Next time I might add even more garlic cloves because the roasted garlic was one of the best parts.
Give it a try!
- Artichoke Hummus
- Artichoke Cheddar Squares
- Curry Artichoke Rice Salad
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup
Artichoke Recipe around the Web:
- Spinach Artichoke Lasagna from Cookie and Kate
- Artichoke Shakshuka from Half-Baked Harvest
- One Pan Lemon Chicken Orzo with Artichokes from Alexandra’s Kitchen
- Artichoke Leek Frittata from Simply Recipes
- 4 whole artichokes
- 2 small lemons
- 1/4 cup olive oil (plus a little extra)
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut 4 squares of heavy duty foil, each one large enough to wrap an artichoke.
3. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil on each foil square and smear around a bit then set the foil aside.
4. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice off the top third of the leaves of each artichoke then cut the stems off, right at the base of the artichoke.
5. Place one artichoke on each square of oiled aluminum foil. Open up the inside leaves a bit and tuck a couple cloves of garlic in each artichoke. Sprinkle a good pinch of kosher salt all over each one. Squeeze half a lemon over the top of each then drizzle each with about a tablespoon of olive oil.
6. Wrap each artichoke with the foil. Place wrapped artichokes in a pan or on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for one hour and fifteen minutes for medium-size artichokes.
7. Let artichokes rest until cool enough to be handled then enjoy!
Small artichokes might be done in one hour and large artichokes might take an hour and a half.
The artichoke is done when the bottom is pierced easily with a thin knife. The knife will slide in easily when the artichokes are tender enough to eat.