Baby Artichokes with Sizzling Garlic-Lemon-Rosemary Butter

Baby Artichokes with Sizzling Garlic-Lemon-Rosemary Butter

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Ingredients

  • 12 baby artichokes
  • 2 1/2 lemons, juiced
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I love truffle salt for this!)
  • 1 or 2 sprigs rosemary

Directions

Snap off the outer leaves of each artichoke until you are left with about a 1-inch-wide inner artichoke. (You can steam the leaves you’ve removed and scrape off the flesh with your teeth or just nibble on them raw.) Cut off about 1/2-inch of the spiky top, cut off the stem and trim away any ragged edges around the base. You may cut them in half or cook them whole.

To prevent the artichokes from turning brown as you prep them, rub the cut edges with lemon, or submerge them in a cold-water bath with a little lemon.

Squeeze juice from 2 lemons into a pot of salted water. Bring the water to a rolling simmer, add artichokes and cover the pot. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes for whole artichokes and 7 to 8 minutes for halves, or until a knife tip inserted into the base of the artichokes reveals they’re tender.

In a small saucepan, melt butter until it sizzles. Add garlic, salt and remaining lemon juice. Remove from the heat. Serve butter in heated ramekins or small butter warmers, swirled with rosemary sprigs.

Serve the cooked artichokes piled on plates with the dipping sauce on the side.

Special notes:

To cook large artichokes

Snap off the discolored outer leaves by pulling backwards, away from the body, and discard them. With a sharp knife, cut off about 1 inch of the spiky top; if you would like, cut off the tips of the rest of the leaves with a pair of kitchen shears.

To prevent the artichokes from turning brown as you prep them, rub the cut edges with lemon, or submerge them in a cold-water bath with a little lemon.

Squeeze the juice from a couple of lemons into a large pot of salted water. Bring the water to a boil, add the artichokes and cover the pot. Cook for 18 to 25 minutes or until the leaves pull away very easily. You may season the water with bay leaves or other herbs.

To serve: Spread the leaves apart to reveal the inner “choke.” With the tip of a spoon, scrape away the tough furry center. Serve artichokes warm, room temperature or chilled.

To eat: pull the leaves away, dip in butter, aioli or your favorite sauce, and scrape the flesh from the base with your teeth. When you have removed all of the leaves, you have reached the prized heart, which can be cut into wedges and dipped or stuffed with your favorite filling.