Artichokes are by far one of my favorite vegetables – nay, my favorite foods! As such, I’ve experimented with as many ways of cooking them as I’ve been able to conceive of. So naturally, I had to try them sous vide. I didn’t know what was to gain from sealing them in packets and adding them to a regulated water bath for an hour over just steaming or even boiling them, but I was determined to find out.
What I learned is that all of the wonderful flavor that normally seeps out of the artichoke and into the water that it’s steamed in stays locked within the vegetable itself. It’s like the most potent artichoke-y tasting artichoke you can imagine. Even better, the choke part came away from the heart without a fight or need for a knife, leaving as much of the heart in tact as possible. (It’s always the hardest part for me to judge – cut too deep and you’re losing precious artichoke meat. Cut too shallow, and you’re picking out little annoying strands of choke.)
For this experiment, I started off by peeling the stem with a vegetable peeler and removing the lower leaves. Just look at what a difference that makes:
Then I chose to cut one artichoke in half and leave the other whole. After an hour at 183F (84C), the whole artichoke was absolutely perfect, and brimming with life. The cut artichoke tasted a little weak and overcooked. It was definitely softer and almost mushy. So If you’re in a hurry, I’d give the cut artichoke a try at 30 minutes or so. And if you’re lazy, go with the whole artichoke for the whole hour.
Also, artichokes really like to float! So you’ll need to add something to the water bath to hold them under. I used a small glass baking dish.
- Artichokes - as many as you want!
- Preheat water bath to 183°F (84°C).
- Peel stems of artichokes and remove lower leaves.
- Seal artichokes in plastic bag.
- Cook for 1 hour.
- (if cutting artichoke in half prior to sealing, only cook for 30 minutes).
- Remove from bag and enjoy!