Steamed Artichokes with Tangy Dipping Sauce

I love artichokes, but I so rarely buy them fresh.  Maybe it’s because I think it’ll be too much work to prep and steam them.  Once I do it though, I realize that it really isn’t that hard, and it’s so worth it.  They’re delicious, and they’re also really fun to eat.

I’d been thinking about Easter recipes, which for me means spring recipes, and when I saw artichokes at the farmers’ market I thought they’d be the perfect thing to kick off an Easter meal.  They have that special occasion feel, but they don’t require a ton of work since the majority of their preparation time is spent in the steamer.

Steamed Artichokes with Tangy Dipping Sauce
serves 4

4 medium to large artichokes
1 lemon

Prepare a steamer large enough to hold the artichokes.  Cut the lemon rind off the lemon, and put the rind into the water in the base of the steamer.  Cut the lemon in half.

Cut the stems off of the artichokes so that they stand upright, and pull any small leaves off the bottom.  Rub the cut stem area with a lemon half.  Cut about 1 1/2-inches off the top of the artichoke, and again, rub with the lemon half.  With a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the tips off of the remaining leaves.  Don’t worry about cutting to much off since the part you want is at the base of the leaf.  Rub the cut leaves with the lemon, and put the lemon halves into the water with the lemon rind.  (You can measure out 2 tablespoons of juice for the dipping sauce before you add them to the pot.)

Once the water is boiling, stand your artichokes in the steamer, stem side down.  Steam them for 45-55 minutes, depending on their size.  If they aren’t uniform in size, make sure to check the smaller ones sooner. You can tell when they’re done by pulling on a leaf.  If it pulls away easily, they’re ready to go.  You can also double check by inserting a knife into the base of the artichoke to make sure there’s no give.  Serve with Tangy Dipping Sauce (recipe follows).

Tangy Dipping Sauce

3/4 cup vegan mayo
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons capers
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon loosely packed fresh parsley
1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender, and puree.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  You can always start with half the amount of lemon juice or capers and add more to taste.  This is also a really good with carrots or other raw vegetables.

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13 Responses to “Steamed Artichokes with Tangy Dipping Sauce”

  1. I really need to go ahead and make fresh artichokes. I love them, but I always get intimidated because I think they’re going to be way too much trouble. I’ve got to just go for it!

  2. Artichokes always intimidate me…still on my “to do” list.

  3. So happy to have stumbled on this post. I happen to have two artichokes sitting on my counter, fresh from the artichoke capitol of the world:) Can’t wait to try this out this week!

  4. I just made artichokes myself! I love them and they are in season!! Your dipping sauce looks delicious!

  5. What the cuss are you taking your pictures with? I shoot with this http://www.print-digital.info/digital-files/disposable-camera.jpg

  6. Hi, Ate-bit! I’m gonna let my husband field that one as he takes all my photos…

  7. I love artichokes. And they’re so good to support natural body detoxification too. Haven’t cooked some lately, but a good way to speed up the cooking time is to use a pressure cooker.

  8. Arties require no prep! It is not necessary to cut off the sharp leaf tips, unless you have little kids, but even when I was little my mom just taught us how to be careful. Get arty out of fridge, cut bottom stem off, put into enough water to not boil off, medium boil for 45 minutes. Done!

  9. Thanks for the tip, Annette!

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