Artichokes with Creamy Dipping Sauce
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A steamed artichoke is as much an activity as it is a food. Serve this as a first course at dinner and you'll keep your kids busy for at least 15 minutes.
- 4 medium or large artichokes , (the size of an apple or bigger)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream , or yogurt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
- As you probably can tell by looking at them, artichokes are related to the common weedy thistle plant (the stuff you pull out of your garden). They’re prickly and scary looking. They’re also yummy and fun to eat.
- Choose artichokes that are bright green, heavy for their size and squeak slightly when you squeeze them. You can trim off the pointy ends of the leaves with scissors before cooking, but it isn’t necessary. Just cut the stalk close to the end of each artichoke so that it will sit flat on its bottom. Place in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until a single leaf pulls out easily.
- Meanwhile make the Creamy Dipping Sauce. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream (or yogurt), lemon juice and mustard in a small saucepan. Heat very gently, over low heat just until warm. Don’t let this boil or it will get yucky.
- When the artichokes are done, serve each on a plate with a small bowl of dipping sauce. To eat, pull off one leaf at a time and dip the bottom into the sauce. Now scrape it between your teeth, eating the soft flesh and sauce. Discard the tough part of the leaf and repeat until the leaves are too small to be bothered with.
- Now comes the tricky bit: the hairy core – the choke. You’ll find it inside all the little leaves. Remove it by scooping it out with a spoon – don’t eat it. But voila! You have now discovered the delicious bottom! Cut it up, dip it in sauce, and devour.