The Easiest Artichoke Appetizer You Will Ever Prepare

Easiest Steamed Artichokes Ever

When it comes to rustic-modern entertaining, steamed artichokes are the ultimate appetizers. They’re interactive, super-graphic, and the perfect (no-carb) vessel for tasty dips. Somewhere along the line, these buds picked up a bad reputation for being hard to eat and even harder to make — thanks to their prickly leaves and tough stems — but it’s simply not true. Follow our simple steps for making the easiest steamed artichokes, ever. (Hint: It’s a microwave miracle!) You’ll master the party-worthy hors d’oeuvre in less than 15 minutes. 

Easiest Steamed Artichokes Ever

Serves 4
5 or 6 baby artichokes (or 1 large artichoke) 
1 lemon, halved
Kosher salt

Cut about one inch off of the top of each artichoke using a serrated knife; rub the cut edges with one half of the lemon. Pull off the tough outer leaves around the stem. Peel the rough skin off the stems using a pairing knife. (Snip off the spiky leaf tips using kitchen scissors, if desired.)

Slice the other lemon half into rounds. Put the artichokes, 1/2-cup water, and two lemon slices in a microwave-safe baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and tightly cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until tender, about seven minutes (or about 10 minutes for large artichoke).

While the artichokes are steaming, stir up one of our classic dipping sauces (or prepare all three for a crowd): herbed clarified butter, tangy shallot vinaigrette, and savory aioli infused with lemon, chives, and freshly ground black pepper. Let artichokes cool slightly before serving. 

To eat, pull off the leaves, dip in sauce and scrape off the meat with your teeth. Don’t be shy!

Lemon-Chive Aioli
Mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise, one clove garlic, grated; one tablespoon minced chives, one teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. 

Tarragon Butter
Melt one stick unsalted butter; scrape off the foamy milk solids that rise to the surface using a spoon. Stir in 1/3 cup packed fresh tarragon leaves and 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

Shallot Vinaigrette
Combine one shallot, minced and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar in a bowl; let sit 10 minutes. Whisk in one teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Photographed by Erin Phraner

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