Steaming brings out the nutty flavor and light sweetness buried deep in each artichoke thistle. Whether you use the stove-top method or a microwave, start by trimming the artichokes.
Serve steamed artichokes warm, at room temperature, or chilled with one of these delicious dips.
Stove-Top Steaming: The true boiling water and moisture maintained by steaming artichokes on the stove-top more than makes up for the extra time it takes, in my opinion.
- Bring about 1/2 inch water to a boil in a pan deep enough to hold the artichoke(s) standing up.
- Add a teaspoon or two of salt (the artichoke will just be sitting it in, not submerged).
- Set artichokes in the salted boiling water, cover the pan, reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook 20 minutes.
- Check for done-ness – pull a leaf from close to the center of the leaves. If the leaf comes out easily, the artichokes are done; if there is resistance, continue cooking, checking for done-ness every 5 minutes. Depending on artichoke size, this can take a total of 40 minutes.
Microwave Steaming: Steaming artichokes in the microwave is much quicker, of course. The slightly drier nature of the method, however, requires the very freshest of chokes to avoid a tough texture.
- Put trimmed artichokes in a microwave-proof dish. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the dish and cover with a microwave-proof lid.
- Microwave on High for 4 minutes. Check for done-ness (see above). If they're not done, continue microwaving for a minute at a time until done.