It’s easy to be intimidated by artichokes. They’re huge, spiny, and have so many different parts—leaves, stems, choke, heart— it can be tricky figuring out what exactly you do with them.
But the truth is that this springy, delicious vegetable can actually be quite easy to decipher. Quickly steaming them and serving with a spritz of lemon juice, olive oil, and flaky salt is enough to convince even the most dubious of cooks of their ultimate simplicity. If you’re up for some recipes that require a bit more elbow grease, there are plenty of those as well, and your efforts are always rewarded.
So whether you choose to braise, roast, grill or char them, the sweet, green flavor of a fresh artichoke is one of the many splendors of spring that are not to be missed.