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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Tasty Artichokes : Help Maintain a Healthy Liver

Mar 25, 2019 10:56PM

Phote Courtesy of Illinois Farmers Market Association

Artichokes are a bright green, slightly sweet and earthy vegetable. They are biggest and most vibrant in the spring from March to May. When preparing this vegetable, trim the leaves of their prickly edges and cut out the core before eating the tender hearts. They can be steamed, baked or broken down into hearts before adding them to various recipes.

        They pair very well with lemon, anchovies, garlic, tomatoes and white wine—a recipe right there. Artichokes are rich in vitamin C, fiber and a chemical called cynarin, which may help support liver function.

        “If you didn’t like them the first time, try them again—marinated, on a pizza or as part of a delicious dip,”  says Lauren Woodbridge, a member of the Illinois Farmers Market Association’s Board of Directors and co-owner of The Kitchen Sink (, a bagel company specializing in organic, local bagels sold at Chicago farmers’ markets.


Steamed Artichokes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

2 large artichokes, trimmed

Aromatics for steaming water:

2 cloves garlic

¼ cup onion

1 tsp peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 sprig thyme

Artichoke aioli:

1 whole egg and 1 yolk

1 half lemon

3 anchovies

Sun-dried tomato oil (optional), can be from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes

1 Tbsp mustard

Olive oil

Cracked black pepper

Trim the base, top and leaves of the artichokes (as pictured).

Prepare steaming water with aromatics and bring to a boil.

Add artichokes to the steamer, cover and reduce heat.

Cook for about 30 minutes or until tender and leaves pull off easily.

Make the aioli in a food processor. It’s possible to do it in a bowl with a whisk, but just easier this way. Add everything to the bowl and start to blend.

Slowly add olive oil until thickened and blended. Every recipe says a different amount of time; don’t get frustrated if it takes 10 minutes.

Dip the leaves or drizzle over the top.


The Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA) supports local food and food systems by giving Illinois farmers’ markets and producers access to resources, education and connections in order to grow healthier and economically vibrant communities. For more information, visit