Artichokes a la Polita

Artichokes a la Polita – Greek traditional recipe for braised Αrtichokes

A healthy Greek traditional vegan meal for braised artichokes that is absolutely delicious!!!

Artichokes a la Polita
Artichokes ala polita3

Artichokes a la Polita recipe origin, variations, and a tiny history lesson

This recipe origin is from Constantinople (Istanbul) or “Poli” for short as we used to call this city which is currently one of the biggest cities in Turkey. In the old days, Constantinople was the capital of the Roman Empire created by Constantine the Great, who also gave his name to the town.

Variations of this recipe you may also find with peas, fennel leaves, garlic, leeks, or parsley. My mother also used to add peas when she cooked this dish but I prefer it without!

Purple Artichokes

Preparations before you start cooking fresh Artichokes

Before you start cooking this traditional Greek recipe with fresh Artichokes you should prepare a big bowl with water, flour, juice from 1 lemon, and lemon slices like you see in the photo below. Try to find a big enough bowl to fit all the artichokes.

This mixture of ingredients slows down the Artichokes’ oxidation (turning black) so it is very important to have it ready before you start peeling them and immediately add the artichoke to the bowl after you peel it.

You can only use water + lemon juice or water + flour but the addition of both lemon + flour is the best combination.

aginares bowl1

Before you start peeling the Artichokes prepare a bowl with water, flour, lemon juice, and the lemon peels.

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Keep the peeled Artichokes in a bowl with Lemon juice and flour to slow down their oxidation.

Artichokes varieties (Green /Purple) and their differences

What is the difference between a green and a purple artichoke you might be wondering? After they are cooked there is no difference in taste at all. Both are sweet and delicious.

There is a difference in size though. The green Artichokes have more leaves and they are thicker than the purple, which makes them the perfect Artichoke variety if you are planning to eat them raw.

If you peel the outer thick leaves, part of the inner softer leaves is eatable raw with a little salt and lemon. Only the white part in the base of the leaves, not the whole leave.

Raw Artichokes are eaten a lot on Crete island as a Meze plate for Raki /Tsipouro (a Greek alcoholic beverage similar to Vodka or Sake).

The purple Artichokes have very thin and very few leaves. You get to clean them faster than the green ones, and if you cook them they taste exactly the same as the green ones. 

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Green Artichoke

What do Artichokes taste like?

If you’ve never eaten an Artichoke before you are missing out! They have a unique taste which I think is something close to a combination of sweet pumpkin and strawberries! If you like those two you will probably also like Artichokes!

artichoke cuts
artichoke cuts1

How can you tell when the artichoke inner leaves are edible?

There is this color trick that applies for some Artichoke varieties. If the artichoke core is white then the artichoke inner leaves will be edible. That does not apply for all the artichoke varieties so the best way to tell if the inner leaves are edible is after they are cooked and fork them!

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The purple heart of the Artichoke

The purple heart of an Artichoke is an indicator that it’s inner leaves are not edible.

Artichokes ala polita2
Serve Artichokes a la Polita with Feta cheese and enjoy!
Artichokes a la Polita

Artichokes a la Polita – Greek traditional recipe for braised Αrtichokes

Prep: 30m | Cook: 20m | Total: 50m | Serve: 4


  • 10 fresh Artichokes, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 Carrots, quartered about 3 cm long.
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 3 medium Potatoes, cut as thick half moon
  • 3 red Οnions, quartered
  • 2 Spring onions, cut into rings and white and green divided
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 1 cup of water, divided
  • 1/2 cup Dill, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 pinch of Salt and Pepper


  1. Prepare: A big bowl of water big enough to fit all the artichokes inside and squeeze in the juice of one lemon and 2 Tbsp of flour.
  2. Clean the artichokes by peeling out all their tough outer leaves. Stop peeling when you reach the tender leaves with a very light green color.
  3. Add them to the bowl you have prepared immediately after you peeled their leaves to prevent their oxidizing and turning black.
  4. After you finish with the artichoke peeling, start cutting them in half one by one and remove their inner choke with a spoon or a knife. (Watch the video on how to prepare artichokes)
  5. After you scoop out the choke, place them in the same bowl with the flour and lemon juice.
  6. Have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking.
  7. Start cooking: Lightly sauté the red onions with the olive oil in a saucepan over high heat until they wither.
  8. Add in the carrots, season the potatoes with salt and pepper and add them to the pot as well.
  9. Pour ½ cup of water and let them all boil over high heat for 5 minutes.
  10. Add the Artichokes, the white part of the spring onion, the chopped dill, and another 1/2 cup of water.
  11. Stir lightly and bring them to a boil.
  12. Lower the heat and let them simmer for 15 minutes until they are fork tender.
  13. Add the juice of 2 lemons to a small bowl and stir in the cornstarch with a fork to dissolve it.
  14. Spoon out 2-3 Tbsp from your food juices add them to the cornstarch mixture stir well and pour it into the pot.
  15. Add the green parts from the spring onions, mix lightly, bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Your food is ready!
  16. Serve it with Feta cheese and country bread and enjoy a healthy and delicious vegan meal!

Did you make this recipe? Or are you planning to make it? Let me know in the comments below, tag me on Instagram @freshpiato or show me your photos on Pinterest!

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Hi, I'm Christina!

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