Growing up in California, I’ve always been a huge fan of artichokes – I love them steamed, grilled, and stuffed. I love them canned and jarred in herbaceous olive oil. And I love them in salads. Typically I use canned or marinated artichoke hearts in my salad recipes, but I had some small artichokes on hand. So I decided to use them in a zesty artichoke pasta salad with goat cheese, arugula, olives, roasted red peppers and crunchy pistachios that I drizzled with a lemony cumin dressing. And it was delicious!Jump to Recipe
What is the best way to cook artichokes?
Arguably, the easiest way to prepare artichokes is in an instant pot. Growing up, we ate artichokes often and my mom always cooked them in her pressure cooker, so I’ve followed suit. Artichokes cook very quickly in an instant pot, about 9-11 minutes on high pressure, depending on the size. They can also be steamed in a pot on the stove for about 30-45 minutes, also depending on the size. An artichoke is done when the outer leaves can be easily peeled and the stem end can be easily pierced with a knife.
How to prepare artichokes for this zesty pasta salad:
If you’ve never cooked an artichoke before it may seem a bit daunting. They are, after all, a prickly thistle that needs to be tamed into submission. Here’s how to prep fresh artichokes to go in this pasta salad (or any other salad). When shopping for artichokes, choose small ones, no larger than a baseball.
Use a serrated knife to remove the spiky crown and stem of the artichoke.
Put artichokes on the rack of an instant pot. Squeeze lemon juice over them (to prevent browning), and pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pot. Seal pot, and set to high pressure for 9 minutes.
When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, peel off all outer leaves, until you get to the tender center leaves. It may be necessary to trim off the tops of the leaves a bit more to remove any tough portions. Reserve the outer leaves for a snack (I like to dip them in melted butter or plain mayo).
Cut artichokes in half, and using a paring knife, carefully cut out the fuzzy center choke.
Cut artichokes into quarters. They are now ready to be added to the pasta salad.
This artichoke pasta salad leans towards Mediterranean flavors with a bright lemony dressing accentuated by a bit of toasty cumin. Spicy arugula, mild goat cheese, salty olives, sweet roasted red peppers and crunchy roasted pistachios all make this summer side dish sing.
With summer grilling season upon us, this zesty artichoke pasta salad with goat cheese and arugula is a fun twist on a classic side dish and is the perfect thing to tote along to a concert in a park, a friends potluck BBQ or to just eat on its own as a hearty meatless main. If you are looking for even more artichoke inspiration, here are 20+ Recipes That Will Teach You How to Cook Artichokes Like a Pro.
Here’s what you can make to round out the meal:
- Grilled chicken with Blueberry Zinfandel BBQ Sauce
- Mom’s Southern Cornbread
- Heirloom Tomato and Stone Fruit Salad
- Lemon Lavender Summer Gin Spritz
If you make this recipe be sure to drop a comment and star rating below, and tag me on Instagram using the hashtags #agirldefloured #deflouredrecipes! Thank you!
Zesty Artichoke Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese
- Instant Pot
- 4 small artichokes no bigger than a baseball
- 1 lemon
- 1 pound dried pasta gluten free
- 2 handfuls arugula
- 1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers drained and sliced
- 1 2.25 oz can sliced olives
- 4 oz goat cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup toasted pistachios
- salt & pepper to taste
For the Dressing
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 1 1/2 lemons
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground toasted cumin
- salt & pepper to taste
For the Artichokes
- Use a serrated knife to remove the spiky crown and stem of the artichoke. Put artichokes on the rack of an instant pot. Squeeze lemon juice over them (to prevent browning), and pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pot. Seal pot, close valve, and set to high pressure for 9 minutes. Do a quick release of the steam.
- When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, peel off all outer leaves, until you get to the tender center leaves. It may be necessary to trim off the tops of the leaves a bit more to remove any tough portions. Reserve the outer leaves for a snack (I like to dip them in melted butter or plain mayo). Cut artichokes in half, and using a paring knife, carefully cut out the fuzzy center choke. Cut artichokes into quarters. They are now ready to be added to the pasta salad.
For the Pasta Salad
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, prep the dressing.
- Put the lemon juice, olive oil, shallot, honey, and cumin in a jar, seal the lid and shake vigorously to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- When pasta is cooked, drain and add to a large salad bowl. Toss with half of the dressing and let cool at room temp for about 10 minutes. Add the arugula, red peppers, goat cheese, olives, and pistachios and toss to combine. Top with reserved artichokes and drizzle over the remaining dressing. Toss thoroughly to coat evenly. Taste again for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve at room temperature or cold. Keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days.