We love artichokes, particularly my 7 year old. She says she "especially loves the white part that she scrapes off with her teeth!" I think the butter sauce is really the reason she loves steamed artichokes. Don't cut the top off the artichoke, or take time to trim the ends; there's really no need to. I just plop the whole thing in my pot that has a steaming basket. Don't cut off the stem, as it's an extension of the heart. For this reason, I always buy artichokes with long stems. The fresher the artichoke the more "meaty" the stem will be, as opposed to stringy.
Steamed Artichoke with Dipping Sauce
1. Rinse artichoke, pull of any small petals at the base of the artichoke, peel the stem with a vegetable peeler and trim off the woody base of the stem.
2. Bring a pot with 3 inches of water to a boil.
3. Place artichoke(s) in steaming basket over water and cover with a lid.
4. Reduce heat to medium.
5. Steam for 45-55 minutes, or until a petal pulls out very easily, or a fork can be easily inserted into base of artichoke.
6. Cool slightly before serving.
7. Dip each petal in butter sauce; give it a little stir with the petal as the lemon and salt tend to sink to the bottom.
8. Scrape the meat off the base of each petal with your teeth and discard petal. When the petals become very soft and thin; it's time to remove the choke. Firmly grasp the remaining petals and pull them off; give it a twist if you need to. You can dip this bundle in the butter sauce and eat the base of these soft petals. Now take a spoon and scrape out the fuzzy choke. What remains is the heart. Cut it up into bite size pieces, as well as the tender part of the stem, and enjoy the meatiest part of the artichoke dipped in the butter sauce.
1/2 cup high quality salted butter, raw is recommended
1 tsp. high quality salt, Real Salt brand is recommended
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1. Add either room temperature, soft butter to a pan, or grate butter into a small pan.
2. Add salt.
3. Heat butter over low heat until it's almost melted.
4. Remove from heat and whisk butter until it is fully melted.
5. Whisk in lemon juice.
Using soft or grated butter allows the butter to melt faster with less heat. When using a good quality butter, it's best to keep the fat and nutrients at a low heat to keep them healthy and prevent them from being denatured.
If using unsalted butter, add additional salt to taste.
For the best artichokes, buy them seasonally in the spring and also the fall.
One large artichoke will feed 1-2 people. If you're sharing with my 7 year old, you better be quick, or there won't be any left!