10% Holiday Discount On Our Gift Certificates

Purchase using discount code FOODIEFRIDAY. Limited offer!

Eat like a local recipe: artichokes

Posted on May 5, 2016 |

An interesting aspect about artichokes is the fact that their leaves are composed by the fusion of thousand of tiny flowers. Originally from northern Africa, this vegetable is now common in the Mediterranean cuisine; it was brought by the Arabs and widely propagated by the Romans as an aphrodisiac food, and that´s why we asked our Italian friend Francesco to teach us his precious recipe to enjoy it like a local does in Barcelona, the very same way we drive Barcelona Eat Local.

fresh artichokes

Recipe: Francesco´s healthy artichokes
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 4


  • 6-8 medium size artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 pcs of garlic
  • 3 tomatoes, pureed
  • one hand of parsley
  • olive oil and salt
  • 2-3 cups of water


  1. You can use a regular cooking pan.
  2. Cut about 1/4 of the bottom part and remove two to three layers of the outside leaves (when artichokes are a bit old, you might need to remove up to five).
  3. Cut each piece of artichoke and the lemon in fours and leave them on a bowl of water for around 15 min.
  4. Clean the parsley and remove the root leaving only the laves.
  5. Heat up olive oil over medium heat and garlic.
  6. Drain the artichokes and add them to the pan, fry for around 3-4 min.
  7. Add one cup of water and cover. As water evaporates add more and also salt and the parsley leaves.
  8. Leave it cooking for around 30-45 mins.
  9. Once the artichokes look soft, they are done.
  10. Put them on a plate, add some olive oil on top and enjoy! and in case you really want to eat like a local Catalan does, have a blob of alioli on the side!

how to cook artichokes: soak them in water with lemon

fry and cook artichokes in a pan

Where to buy organic vegetables in Barcelona: We do recommend going to Ecobotiga or any Barcelona Food Markets

Don´t forget that artichoke is a winter vegetable. In the Mediterranean the season starts in October and last till April. If you find artichokes outside this season ask your shop where they come from, you might be buying a vegetable with a high carbon foot print, which has been travelling from a faraway place, and that´s not the best environmentally friendly approach to follow. Not ours certainly. Just saying!

Artichokes are healthy food and reminds me my childhood back in Valparaiso, and I must admit that I revived my addiction to them at the time I was living in Rome some years ago. One way or another, every time I taste an artichoke, they make me feel like eating like a local either in Chile, Italy and now Spain. Love to the artichokes!

Food , recipe

The Best of Barcelona Lifestyle

Sign up for special travel tips, discounts and promotions, and get up to date with the best of Barcelona food culture

Sign Up

Read More From Blog

7 Tips: the Ultimate Gastronomic Guide to Pair Wine and Food

Posted on November 4, 2018

Outdoor activities in Barcelona with Kids

Posted on October 18, 2018