Steamed Artichokes with Three Dipping Sauces

Steamed Artichokes with Three Dipping Sauces

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Ring in spring with this seasonal delicacy! These savory dips, rich in healthy fats and bursting with flavor, are the perfect addition to the lovely spring artichoke. They are a cinch to whip up, and an easy way to jazz up the standard side of melted lemon butter, or mayonniase, typically served with them.

I learned how to eat an artichoke at a very young age and immediately fell in love. I don’t know if it had to do with the actual artichoke itself, or the fact that my mother always served it with a big bowl of melted butter and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Yum! Regardless, I adore the taste and look forward to steaming some up this time every year.

Springtime is peak season for artichokes. These beautiful greenish, purple-hued thistles may appear intimidating at first, but I assure you they are very easy to prepare. A few minutes of prep time allows you to cut the stem off, thorns from the petals, and quickly rinse it for steaming. Place them in a pot with some crushed garlic, lemon slices, and bay leaves, and your kitchen will smell amazing within minutes.

Steamed Artichokes with Three Dipping Sauces

I love the unique way artichokes are eaten. Dip individual petals into your choice of dip and scrape off the “meat” at the tip through clenched teeth. Discard the petal in a scrap bowl and repeat. When you reach the heart of the artichoke (the best part, in my opinion), gently scoop out the fine fuzzy hairs with a spoon or knife, slice it into bite sized pieces, and dip. If you love butter, like I do, you will truly savor every bite.

These three dips are made with basic ingredients that most everyone has available to them, and are simple to assemble with minimal dishes. They can be easily doubled for larger groups.

Steamed Artichokes with Three Dipping Sauces
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side
 
These savory sauces are the perfect compliment to the lovely spring artichoke.
Ingredients
  • 4 Artichokes
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 Lemon slices
  • A sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • For the Parmesan Butter Sauce:
  • 2 Tbls butter, melted
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Pinch of lemon zest
  • 1 Small garlic clove, minced
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • For the Balsamic Mustard Sauce:
  • 2 Tbls balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 Tbls dijon mustard
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • For the Lemon and Herb Butter Sauce:
  • 4 Tbls butter, melted
  • 1 Small garlic clove, minced
  • ⅛ tsp each of dried thyme, oregano and basil
  • 1 Tbls fresh lemon juice
  • A pinch of sea salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the stems off each artichoke, along with ½-1 inch off the top, and trim the prickly thorn off each petal. Rinse them under cool water, gently spreading the leaves open.
  2. Place them upside-down in a pot with about 2 inches of water, the bay leaf, garlic cloves, lemon slices, and salt and pepper. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until a knife can be easily poked through the artichokes from top to bottom.
  3. While the artichokes are simmering, prepare your dips.
  4. For the Parmesan Butter Sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a small bowl for dipping. Serve warm.
  5. For the Balsamic Mustard Sauce: Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until incorporated.
  6. For the Lemon and Herb Butter Sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a small bowl for dipping. Serve warm.
  7. How to eat: Dip individual petals into your choice of dip and scrape off the “meat” at the tip through clenched teeth. Discard the petal in a bowl and repeat. When you reach the heart of the artichoke (the best part!), gently scoop out the fine fuzzy hairs with a spoon or knife, slice it into bite sized pieces, and dip.

 

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April is a follower of King Jesus, wife, mother, writer, and adoption advocate. She lives in New England where her husband serves as a worship-pastor. Her introverted nature loves to read, sip coffee, and cook nourishing food for those she loves. You can find her writing at April Swiger.

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