What To Serve With Artichokes? [Sauces, Desserts & Wines]

Artichokes are super delicious but can be very difficult to prepare and cook. There are three different parts of the artichoke that are edible when cooked. The stem, the heart, and the leaves. In order to get to the heart and stem, there is a lot of work to be done.

It can be a very time staking task and incredibly difficult for the home cook. If you plan on eating the heart of the artichoke, you should probably just but the kind in the cans or jars. They are already cleaned and have been partially cooked.

It may cost a little more but it will save you so much time and a very big headache. Breaking the artichoke down to the heart and stem is just not worth it. Most people prefer the heart and stem because they are the most tender part of the artichoke.

They can be used in so many ways and in so many dishes. The thing is that the artichoke heart is more of an ingredient than an entrée or dish in this case.

Don’t let that deter you from eating the artichoke as a main dish because there is another way. The leaves are also edible but do have far less “meat” on the bones when compared to the heart or stem.

You will need to boil or steam the whole artichoke first before even thinking about eating them. Most people like to roast them in the oven after boiling them as well.

This helps to loosen the flesh on the leaves and give them a nice flavor. To eat them, you pull a single leaf from the artichoke and scrape the flesh from the inside of the leaf.

Most people just scrape the leaves between their teeth to remove the flesh. But you can use a fork or knife to scrape the leaves and put them on a cracker or bread as well.

Even though there is a lot of work that goes into making the artichokes, the outcome is more than worth it. Whether you are using the artichoke heart in the main dish or scraping the flesh from the leaves, the juice will be worth the squeeze in the end.

When using the artichoke hearts, there are so many ways to utilize the ingredient. They work really well in pastas, risotto, and rice dishes. Most of the time they can still be the star of the dish if there are not many other ingredients in the entrée.

They also work great on flatbreads and pizzas alike. Even if you are not looking to use them in your main dish, they work great in many side dishes and appetizers as well.

Place them on a charcuterie board with other pickled veggies, cheeses, and meats to elevate your next party.

You can also use them in dips, sauces and salads before the meal as well. If you plan on using the leaves of the artichoke, then it will look quite a bit different.

Since the leaves are the star, the accompaniments will be things like sauces, vinaigrettes and breads to help consume the dish.

Since the artichoke can be broken down into three parts, we will be covering them separately. The following dishes will be what to serve with artichoke hearts and whole artichokes.

They are very different in this way, so we thought it would be easier for you. This will help you to get a better idea of what to serve with your whole artichokes or how to properly utilize the ingredient in the main dish.

If you are still stumped, then keep reading to find out what you need to do with your next batch of whole artichokes.

Best Side Dishes To Serve With Whole Artichokes

1.Bread

Since artichoke leaves need to have the flesh scraped away, they will need a vehicle for the paste. A nice piece of bread will work perfectly for this.

You can also load up the other toppings and sauces if you are serving them with your whole artichokes as well.

bread croissant

Even if you are planning on scraping the leaves with your teeth, bread is a nice accompaniment for the artichoke. The flavor is fairly subtle as to not overpower the artichokes and adds a nice textural element to the meal.

2.Dipping Sauces

It is very common to serve a dipping sauce with whole artichokes. When you pull off the leaves, you can dip them in the sauce before scraping them with your teeth. Most of the sauces that will come with artichokes will be dairy-based.

Dip Sauces

They will also be citrus-based if the cook knows what they are doing. A nice lemon garlic aioli will work well with the artichokes and accent their natural flavor. A rich butter sauce or even clarified butter will help to bring some fatty richness to the dish as well.

3.Lemons

If you are not one for sauces with your artichokes then you will definitely want to add some lemon wedges to the plate. A squeeze of some fresh lemon juice will help to accent the artichokes and bring a nice bright freshness to the dish.

Tea Lemon

They will really benefit from the acidity of the citrus. Other types of citruses may work as well but the lemon will always be the best choice.

4.Crackers

Just like the sauces to citrus, if you are not wanting a heavy loaf of bread at the table then consider serving some crackers with the artichoke.

They do not need to be eaten with the dish but it is nice to have the option. You may or may not want to use a vehicle for the leaves, but someone else at the table may want to.

Crackers

In all reality, a whole artichoke is meant to be shared between two or three people. Even though there is not much food on the leaves, it is a shareable appetizer at this point. So, try some water crackers with your next venture.

Best Side Dishes To Serve With Artichoke Hearts

5.Pasta

Of all the different kinds of dishes you might find artichokes hearts in, they will be found in pasta the most. They just work really well in all types of pasta. It also doesn’t even matter the type of sauce the pasta is covered in either.

They will work better in a cream or butter-based sauce but still work well in red sauces too. They also work with all proteins as well. Chicken and shellfish will be at the top of that list though in terms of compatibility.

pasta

They also work well with other types of veggies in the pasta. Tomatoes, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms will work the best with artichokes in pasta. Next time you make some pasta, throw some artichoke hearts in there.

6.Charcuterie Board

If you are not familiar with a charcuterie board, they are usually the fancy way of saying a meat and cheese platter. There will always be some meats and cheeses on the board alongside some dips, breads and crackers.

charcuterie board

However, there are usually some kinds of pickled veggies like artichokes, olives, pickles, and red peppers. It really is the best way to greet your guests at a party before the main course arrives.

7.Flatbread/Pizzas

Another common dish you will find artichokes on will be flatbreads and pizza. Not the kind from pizza hut but more of the artisanal pizzas you would get in a nice restaurant. Usually, there is no sauce, if there is, it will just be some light olive oil or a cream sauce.

pizza flatbread

Usually, notes of lemon, herbs, and garlic are added to the pie as well. Other ingredients like chicken, tomatoes, spinach, and mozzarella cheese to top it off. This is a great way to utilize artichoke hearts if you are not sure what to do with them.

8.Spinach Artichoke Dip

This dip with chips is probably one of the most iconic of all the dips out there. It is one of the most common ways to use artichoke hearts and is super easy to make.

Just some frozen spinach, cheese, and cream cheese added with artichoke hearts all blended up together. The dip is usually served hot and sometimes will have the addition of some shellfish like crab meat too.

This is served in so many restaurants and is a highly loved appetizer by many people.

9.Salads

Last but certainly not least is the common salad. You will often find artichoke hearts in many different types of salads. Probably one of the most favored is the Greek salad or Mediterranean salad.

It is very common to find artichoke hearts in Mediterranean cooking, so it’s no wonder why they wouldn’t be put in the salads as well. No matter what the other types of veggies or lettuce are in the salad, the dressing is usually some type of vinaigrette.

Greek Salad

The acidity of those dressings works nicely with the artichoke hearts overall. 

The Best Wines To Pair With Artichokes

When choosing a wine to pair with your artichokes you want to follow some of the same rules of other vegetables and dipping sauces. It doesn’t matter whether you are using the hearts of the whole artichokes either.

10.Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

This wine has a high acidic flavor with lower sugar content.  This wine will work nicely with the artichokes and complement the natural flavors. It is very easy to drink wine with notes of grapefruit and a dry finish.

11.Pinot Grigio

This white wine has a crisp, bright finish with subtle notes of green apple. You will want to serve the wine chilled tableside to keep it cold throughout the meal.

The Best Desserts To Serve With Artichokes

Depending on what you are doing with the artichokes will ultimately determine which dessert to serve. It really could be any number of desserts in all honesty but fruity or acidic desserts will work the best.

12.Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Pie

This pie is one of the best choices to go with. The lemon curd is smooth and rich with a strong citrus flavor. The sweet meringue on top of the pie helps to even out the acidity of the dessert.

13.Key Lime Pie

This dessert is a sweet but very acidic pie but with a rich and creamy consistency. The extra tart key limes work well with the artichokes to finish off the meal on a high note.

14.Peach Melba

This is a refreshing dessert consisting of vanilla ice cream, roasted peaches and topped with a raspberry sauce. The dessert is on the lighter side while still bringing strong sweet and fruity flavors to the dish.

The Best Sauces To Serve With Artichokes

You need to think of the same way if you are choosing a wine or other ingredients with the artichoke. More than likely a sauce will be served with the whole artichoke. The flesh of the leaves is delicious but will benefit from a dipping sauce as well.

15.Lemon Aioli

This is a rich creamy sauce with a tart and acidic finish. Sometimes garlic is added to the sauce to add a sharp flavor. This is the most common sauce served with whole artichokes.

16.Clarified Butter

This is butter that has been melted and the milkfat solids have been removed. The rich melted butter is a great alternative dipping sauce to use when eating the leaves of the artichoke.

Should Artichokes Be Served As An Appetizer Or As An Entrée?

For the most part, artichoke hearts are to be looked at as an ingredient and not as a main course. They are to be used to create a meal along with other ingredients.,

Even vegetarians and vegans can agree on this standpoint. However, when you are serving the whole artichoke, nine times out of ten, it will be served as an appetizer.

It is meant to be served as such and can be difficult to be served any other way. You could order the classic appetizer as your meal or main course. But that does not mean that it is to be considered an entrée.

Final Considerations

Artichokes are a very strange ingredient and will take some time to get to know if you have never used them or eaten them. They are very delicious and work well on so many levels that you really can never go wrong when you add them to a dish. There will be a learning curve to working with them.

However, once you get the hang of it you will be able to hit the ground running in all directions with this wonderful ingredient.

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