Weekly Recipe #212: Aspen-Style Artichokes

by Bonnie Helm, Dietetic Intern [The University of Minnesota – The Emily Program]

Photo credit: Bill Michalski/Flickr

Spring has sprung, so bring on the artichokes!

Vegetables were not an easy sell in my household. Salads were the norm, but anything else green did not bring much of a smile to us kids – except one dish.

A favorite restaurant of ours in Aspen, The Chart House, served a steamed artichoke that tasted fabulous without even needing to dip the leaves in butter. My mom talked The Chart House into giving her the recipe, and it became a staple thereafter in our home.

Ringing in at just 64 calories per serving, artichokes are a great source of fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

Aspen-Style Artichokes

Adapted from The Chart House’s recipe

(Serves: 2)


  • 1 quart water
  • 1 tbsp. basil
  • 1 tbsp. thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced)
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 whole artichokes


  1. In a large pot add first six ingredients. Squeeze lemon into mixture and drop in the rind. Bring liquid to a simmer.
  2. Prepare artichokes: Wash under cold water. Cut off stems and top inch of the artichoke. Any thorns left can be trimmed with kitchen shears. Pull off lower petals that are small or tough.
  3. Place the artichokes in the steaming broth, bottom up. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce back to a simmer. Simmer artichokes for about 2 hours. Artichokes are done when a knife is inserted into the base and there is no resistance. (If you use a pressure cooker you can cut cooking time down to 10-15 minutes)
  4. To eat, pull off a leaf and scrape the meat off the tender end with your front teeth. If desired, dip the ends of the leaves in a tangy aioli or lemon butter if desired. When you reach the center cone of purple prickly leaves, remove them. This is the choke that protects the heart. Now scrape away the thistle fuzz covering the artichoke heart. The heart is the meatiest part, and many believe it to be the best part of the artichoke. Steamed artichokes may be served hot or cold.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving (without dip): 64 calories, 0 g fat, 14 g carbohydrate, 0 g added sugar, 10 g fiber, and 72 mg sodium.

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