Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Don’t be put off by the artichoke’s thorny exterior. It has an incredibly tender heart and the leaves are just as sweet. Both are perfect for dipping.
Using a serrated knife, cut off the top quarter of the artichokes. Trim the end of the stem and remove the tough small leaves that are attached to it. Use scissors to snip the remaining thorns from the ends of the leaves.
Fill a large saucepan with 2 inches of water and fit it with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil. Place the artichokes in the basket, cover and steam until the base is tender and can be easily pierced to the center with a paring knife, 30 to 35 minutes. Be sure to occasionally check the water level to make sure it hasn’t evaporated.
Divide the olive oil and balsamic (1 tablespoon each) into 4 small bowls. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside the artichokes for dipping.
Serrated knife, scissors, large saucepan with lid, steamer basket, measuring spoons, 4 small dipping bowls