Easiest Steamed Artichokes
When buying artichokes, look for ones that feel firm and heavy for their size.  If they feel spongy, pass them by.  Also, take a peek at the stem end.  If it looks brown and dry like it was cut weeks ago, it probably was!


  • Whole, fresh artichokes
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns


  1. Cut the stems from the artichoke to form a flat base, and remove any small leaves from the stem end. (These tend to be tough and not very meaty.)
  2. Put a steamer basket* in the bottom of a large stockpot filled with 2-3 inches of water. The water should come to the bottom of the steamer basket. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar to the water, and then place the artichokes on the steamer basket. (I don’t bother to measure the vinegar anymore but just give it a good glug; precise measurements don’t matter here.)
  3. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer full-size artichokes for 45-50 minutes.  Baby artichokes will probably take between 25-35 minutes, depending on precise size. (You should be able to easily pierce through the center with the point of a knife. I thought this seemed like a very long cooking time when I first started cooking artichokes, and I do typically like my veggies al dente. However, the longer cooking time allows you to get more “meat” off the leaves and makes for a tender, delicious heart. That said, the artichokes should not feel mushy or fall apart when lifted from the pot.)
  4. When finished, use tongs to remove to a plate and serve with melted butter, a dollop of mayo, or sauce of choice.


  • *In lieu of a steamer basket, I have used a small cooking rack. You need something to keep the artichokes just above the water line. Inexpensive stainless steel steamer baskets can generally be found in the baking/gadget area of the grocery store.
  • Other dipping sauce ideas:
  • Melted butter
  • Olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper and a squeeze of optional lemon juice
  • Mayonnaise (as is, or stir in a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, or a spoonful of pesto)
  • Dijonnaise (I like a homemade version of 2 to 3 tablespoons mayo to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.)
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Ranch dressing

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