A perfectly-roasted artichoke is a thing of beauty, but not everyone has the time (or patience) to deal with the extra fuss. So if you want an artichoke and you want it now, look no further than your ever-convenient microwave, which lets you steam one in only 10 minutes—no steamer basket necessary.
- 1 artichoke
- microwave-safe dish
- 1 lemon, juiced
- plastic wrap
- melted butter for dipping
Don't doubt the flavor of a steamed artichoke. The tang of lemon juice and mouth-coating deliciousness of melted butter paired together in this recipe will surprise you with its contrasting depth.
First, rinse your artichokes, then use a knife to cut the stem off. Trim ¼ inch off the top of the artichoke, and use scissors to trim the pointy parts off the tip of the leaves. (I have a more in-depth tutorial on how to prep artichokes, with step-by-step pictures, if you're confused about the process.)
The artichoke should be placed with the stem-side facing up in a microwave-safe dish. (I recommend using a glass Pyrex baking dish to get the job done.)
Fill the dish with ½ inch of water, then squeeze a whole lemon over the top of the artichokes.
Covering the dish with plastic wrap will trap steam inside the dish, which is how we're going to steam this thing. Don't skip this step.
Place the covered dish in the microwave, then set the microwave to high power and cook for 7-10 minutes. The cook time will depend on your microwave's wattage, and the artichoke's size; the larger the artichoke, the longer it will take.
Be very careful when you initially remove the plastic wrap, as the steam will be extremely hot. I'd recommend waiting a minute or two after removing the dish from the microwave before trying to open it, just to be safe.
To test for doneness, The California Artichoke Advisory Board recommends poking the bottom of the artichoke with a toothpick. A cooked artichoke will feel like a baked potato when it is done.
Now, for the best part—which also happens to be the delicious, as well.
Pull off the petals one at a time and dip them in melted butter. Place the leaf in your mouth with the flesh side down, then use your teeth to scrape the soft flesh off the leaf. Discard the remainder of the leaf.
When all of the petals are gone, you'll be left with the artichoke's heart, the best part. First, use a spoon or a knife to scrape out the inedible, fuzzy part of the artichoke; this part is known as the "choke."
Cut the artichoke heart into smaller pieces and plunge them into the melted butter. Then prepare to be amazed by the richness and complexity in both texture and flavor—the leaves are just an appetizer to the best part of the artichoke, after all.
When grilling, roasting, and sautéing don't fit into your time schedule, the microwave is the perfect substitute that won't compromise on taste—and allows you to enjoy a flavorful artichoke in minutes.
If you have any other herbs or spices that you use when cooking or eating artichokes, let us know in the comments below.