Aren't these artichokes beautiful? I'm not sure the pictures do them justice -- they were huge! I love artichokes. They are in season for such a short time and they're divine fresh though you can get good quality canned ones these days. This morning, I steamed them and we ate them without anything. They were delicious as is but the traditional way is to eat them with melted butter.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes inactive
Always use a stainless steal knife and pot because iron or aluminum foil will discolor artichokes. As you work with artichokes, rub cut areas with a lemon (not sure why). Deborah Madison says to do this and since I didn't have a lemon, I skipped this step. Cook artichokes with 2 tsps each of flour and olive oil which helps them keep their pale green color.
Clip the thorns from the leaves, slice off the top third of the artichoke, and trim the stem so that it can stand upright, removing as little as possible from the base. Give them a good rinse, pulling the leaves a part to flush them out.
Set the artichokes upside down on a steaming rack over boiling water. Cook until a leaf comes off fairly easily when you tugged, approximately 30 to to 40 minutes, depending on the size. If you plan to serve them cold, run them in cold water or dip in iced water to stop the cooking process.
I do recommend eating them cold, it's quite refreshing on a hot summer day. I'm off to berry pick now!