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- 1 or more large globe artichokes
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, cut in half (can leave skin on)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 slice of lemon
If the artichokes have little thorns on the ends of their leaves, take a kitchen scissors and cut off the tips. This step is mostly for aesthetics as the thorns soften with cooking and pose no threat to the person eating the artichoke. But snipping them off will make the artichokes easier to handle.
Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke. A serrated bread knife works great for this.
Pull off any smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem.
Cut off excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke. The stems can be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some people like to eat them. The inner cores of the stems taste like the heart.
Alternatively you can leave the whole long stem on the artichoke, just cut off the very end of the stem, and peel the tough outside layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler.
Rinse the artichokes in running cold water. While you rinse them, open up the leaves a little so that the water gets inside more easily. (This is where it helps to have cut off the thorny tips, it makes the artichoke easier to open without getting poked!)
In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, the garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket.
Place artichokes on top of the steaming basket. Cover the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
Cook for 25 to 35 minutes or longer, until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.
Note: artichokes can also be cooked in a pressure cooker (about 5-15 minutes at high pressure). Cooking time depends on how large the artichokes are. The larger, the longer they take to cook.