Should Artichokes Be Refrigerated?

The artichoke can seem like an intimidating vegetable to cook, but it's definitely worth mastering. Boasting an herbaceous flavor with nutty nuances, the vegetables lend themselves wonderfully to being stuffed, braised, or baked until crispy. However, before they can be devoured, artichokes require particular prepping, along with some know-how on storage. Given their fickle nature and relatively short shelf life, should artichokes really be refrigerated?

Technically the flower bud of a thistle, Simply Recipes notes that the artichoke's thick leaves cover a fuzzy (and inedible) center that's located on top of a meaty core called the heart. Despite the fact that the edible bits lie within the interior of the veggie, when shopping for artichokes, exterior aesthetics play a significant role. Aside from searching for buds that are heavy for their size, Bon Appétit notes that leaves should be a rich green, tightly closed, and squeak gently when pressed. After picking out the best produce, the next conundrum is knowing how to store the buds.

Keep them cool for a longer shelf life

Artichokes don't have a super long shelf life, but there are some things that can be done to minimize spoilage. While uncooked artichokes are best used immediately, Ocean Mist explains that they can be kept for up to seven days if refrigerated — just remember to store them in a plastic bag with a bit of water sprinkled on the stems. Should you decide to start completely trimming artichokes long before cooking, be aware of oxidation. 

To avoid any discoloration after cutting the stem, crown, and choke, Cuisine at Home recommends placing the vegetable in water with some lemon juice until you're ready to cook them. Although cooked artichokes can also be kept in the fridge for a few days, La Cucina Italiana explains that blanched artichokes can keep in the freezer for three months, whereas artichokes preserved in oil can even last for a whopping eight months in the pantry — never let artichoke go to waste again!