A type of thistle, the artichoke is a flower bud that is consumed before blooming. The leaves and center “heart” are all edible and are extremely rich in antioxidants.
Choose artichokes with tight leaves and firm stems. A heavy artichoke indicates moisture and freshness. Another trick is to squeeze the leaves together. If they squeak, they are fresh!
Artichokes are typically boiled or steamed. After cooking, they are added on pizza, stuffing, or into a dip. The leaves can also be peeled off individually and dipped into vinegar, butter, hollandaise, or other dips or sauces.