To me, an artichoke is a summertime indulgence. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on meals, but in the summer, my mom always brought home an artichoke for us to snack on for the weekend. Back in those days, it was steamed in the microwave and served with a side of ranch dressing. Now, I’ve upgraded my artichoke dips and figured out exactly how to steam it so that the leaves are tender and the heart is perfectly cooked. This is how to eat and cook an artichoke perfectly.
Artichokes need little prep before you get to eat them. I take a butcher knife and chop off the top of the flower, cut the stem down to the base of the artichoke, and snipe some of the edges of the leaves before dropping it into the steamer basket of a pan of boiling water. Simply steam for 20 minutes and voila, you are done.
For the dips, I don’t like to overcomplicate it nor use ingredients I don’t already carry at home. I want the artichoke to shine as the flower that it is. I enjoy highlighting the sweet nuttiness that come forth in the artichoke. This means a little heat, a little acid, and a lot of savory is a good mix to use for a dip.
After my trip to the Cote d’Azur, we fell in love with dried tarragon and I’ve been using it in my cooking ever since we’ve been home. One of dips played homage to this herb by creating a simple butter, lemon and tarragon dip.
The other two were simple mayonnaise mixes with a little Dijon and siracha. To make a bit of a bastardized aioli at home.
By the way, what’s your vote, is an aioli just fancy mayonnaise or do you think it’s a completely different condiment?
Well,there you have it, exactly how to cook an artichoke perfectly. It’s the easiest and tastiest vegetable to snack on during the summer.
- 1 artichoke
- 1 lemon halved
- 1 quart water
In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Place the steamer basket in the pot and close the lid.
Trim the end of the artichoke and use scissors to snip off the sharp edges of the leaves. Trim the stem of the artichoke off so that it is flush to where the leaves start.
Rub a lemon wedge on the exposed artichoke flesh to prevent the artichoke from getting discolored while cooking.
Place the artichoke leaves side up in the steamer basket and steam for 20 minutes. If steaming two artichokes, increase time to 25 minutes.
Remove, and serve with dips of your choice.