The Easiest Artichoke Appetizer You Will Ever Prepare

artichoke-web
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).
Photographed by Erin Phraner
artichoke-web2
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

More from Food & Drinks

Coffee has seen us through a lot of tough times. Those all-nighters in college, work deadlines, and hangovers from hell — we couldn't have made it to the...
The fall food scene tends to be dominated by pumpkin spice and apple-picking. But let's not forget Halloween — a holiday that, at its caramel-apple core, ...
When ex-teen Rachel Gelmis was drug tested, she knew she was clean. But the test thought differently. Her results were, like, insanely positive for a lot ...
S'mores are a messy dessert favorite. But why not skip the sticky situation and enjoy yours in a cone
It's no secret that food is one of the best categories for nostalgia. Who doesn't wax poetic about snack foods like Dunkaroos? But not all of our favorite...
If you've got a Trader Joe's in your neighborhood, chances are it's your go-to supermarket. It's cheap, convenient, and the snacks are unbeatable. It ...
This no-bake confetti fudge takes minutes to put together and will satisfy any sweet tooth
(Paid Content) Scrambled eggs for breakfast? Yawn. Standard-issue pancakes? Predictable. To effectively get us out of bed in the a.m., we prefer a morning ...
Turmeric has quickly become classified as one of those magic superfoods — you know, the ones that you're always hearing about. This spice is basically the ...
While some people might be trying to get you to delete your Instagram food pics, there are many, many more tinkering around in their high-tech laboratories...
Growing up, your parents may have told you to be grateful for your food, because some people are starving. Now, your own meals can actually help other ...
Coffee lovers of the world, get ready. We have news that might make even a die-hard caffeine addict à la Lorelai Gilmore jump up and down in excitement. ...
DIY cotton candy ice cream that doesn't require an ice cream maker? Winning
Whether you're brunching or, uh, dinnering, etiquette is of the utmost importance when dining out. And no, we don't mean keeping your elbows off the table...