Steamed artichokes are one of the easier and most delicious ways to eat these nutty, thorny spring treats. They're great for summer entertaining, too, since you can prep and cook them ahead of time (and keep the kitchen cool!)
First, trim the artichokes by cutting off any browning on the stem and pulling off the smaller leaves from around the artichoke. If you have thorny artichokes and want to be nice to your diners, use a pari of kitchen scissors to snip off the thorny ends of the leaves. G...et more detailed instructions here.
Next, cook them up. There are a few ways to steam artichokes, outlined in detail here. Serve the steamed artichokes warm, at room temperature, or chilled with one of the sauces below.
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Aioli (Garlic Mayonnaise)
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Green Olive Dip
This Green Olive Salad Dressing also works as a delicious dip for artichokes. Add a tablespoon of capers to the dressing when you whirl it for an added briny kick that works well with the chokes.
See the recipe for Green Olive Dip.
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Plain melted butter is a classic dip for steamed artichoke leaves. Make it "drawn" butter by having the melted butter sit for a few minutes, which will let the butter solids settle to the bottom, and pouring off the clear drawn butter on top to use (you can discard the solids). Note that while some people prefer the "cleaner" taste of drawn butter, I tend to prefer the salty bite leaving the milk solids in brings to the party.
Mix it up a bit by adding minced garlic, chopped fresh... parsley or mint, or a bit of chile to the butter.
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Romesco is a Spanish dip of red pepper, tomato, garlic, and almonds. It is tasty on many things, including grilled meats, broiled fish, and off a spoon all by itself, but it adds a special je ne sais quoi to artichokes.
See how to make Romesco Sauce.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Rouille (Red Pepper Mayonnaise)
Rouille is a red pepper garlic mayonnaise that is traditionally served on toasts with French fish stew. It makes a fabulous dip for room temperature or chilled steamed artichokes.
Get the recipe for Rouille.
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