All Choked Up: How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

A steamed artichoke makes a luscious meal for one.

| May/June 2011

  • From the savory leaves to the succulent center, we love everything the artichoke has to offer.
    Photo By Tim Nauman

A steamed artichoke makes a luscious meal for one. With a little prep and plenty of butter, you can savor the simplicity.

1 artichoke
1 lemon
2 (or more—no one’s watching) tablespoons of butter

How to Cook an Artichoke

1. You only want the best, so get rid of the rest—tear off the tough outer leaves, and cut off the stem. Lay the artichoke on its side, and slice off about an inch from the top. Use kitchen scissors to snip off the sharp tip of each leaf.

2. You want it pretty. Rub the artichoke all over with half a lemon, cut side down, to keep it sprightly and green.

3. Drop the trimmed artichoke into boiling water, or set it upside down in a steamer tray. Boil or steam it until a knife slides easily into the cut-stem end or until a leaf pulls off easily, about 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, read a couple of chapters from the book you’ve been neglecting on your nightstand. Do some stretches. Then set a beautiful table with your favorite dishes: one fork, one small plate, one soup bowl and one small ramekin…all for yourself.

How to Eat an Artichoke

1. Squeeze the other half of your lemon into a couple of tablespoons of melted butter in the ramekin.

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