Chilled with Meyer Lemon Sauce
Many people stay away from preparing whole globe artichokes because they fear the cooking process. Instead they reach for the jar of marinated hearts. But a whole artichoke at home is within your grasp! And it couldn't be healthier or more satisfying. Plus, it's such a nice change of pace from a salad as a starter course. Best of all, a steamed artichoke is a vessel and vehicle for your favorite sauce or dressing. My favorite: Meyer Lemon Sauce.
Equipment: cutting board; serrated knife; Dutch oven or large saucepan; steamer basket; tongs; teaspoon
Ingredients: 1-4 globe artichokes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Begin by trimming the artichokes. Pull off any brown or damaged leaves. Using a serrated knife, remove and discard the stem. Then cut the top third away from the artichoke (see images below) to expose the purple choke inside. If necessary, use scissors or a chef's knife to remove any sharp points from the trimmed artichoke. Set aside.
2. Place a steamer basket inside a Dutch oven or large saucepan and fill with water to just below the surface of the steamer holes (no water should go above the holes). Remove the steamer basket and sprinkle the water with salt. Return the steamer basket to the pan and cover the pot with a lid. Turn heat to high.
“Salting the water helps to season the artichokes as they steam.”
3. Once the water is boiling, place the artichokes in the steamer basket (I have always steamed them stem-side down, but many people steam them stem-side up). Cover and reduce heat to low and steam for 20-30 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender when the bottoms are pierced with a knife and the leaves come away easily, without resistance.
4. Remove the artichokes carefully from the pan using tongs and place on a paper towel-lined sheet pan.
5. Once cool, remove the furry choke to expose the heart, using a spoon and your fingers (see images above).
6. Fill the artichoke with Meyer Lemon Sauce, mayonnaise, vinaigrette, or any sauce you like. Serve room temperature or cold.
“How you eat an artichoke is as important as how you prepare it: always make a beautiful arrangement of petals with your artichoke leaves as you eat them to expose the heart. Then you can dig in with fork and knife for those last sauce-covered best bites!”