This post is for Ali.

Artichokes are great but cooking and eating them can take some work. They can be especially daunting if you have never done it before! Here’s a quick and easy step by step guide to steaming an artichoke.

Step 1 – Take a medium sauce pan and add about an inch of water. You will need to add a steamer basket to the pot and do not want the water level rising up over the steamer. If it does, get rid of some of the water. These are steamed artichokes, not boiled.

Step 2 – Before you add the steamer basket to the pot, squeeze one lemon worth of juice into the water and add a bay leaf and a few black peppercorns as well. Add the steamer basket, bring water to a boil then reduce heat down to a low simmer.

Step 3 – Trim the artichokes by pulling off any brown leaves from the outside. Next cut the stems butΒ leave about half an inch, then slice off the pointy top third of the artichokes. Rub the cut stems and tops with theΒ juiced lemon halves to keep the artichokes from discoloring. Put the artichoke stem side up in the steamer basket and put the lid on. Steam for 20 minutes.

Step 4 – After 20 minutes test to see if the artichokes are done. Pull off a bottom leaf. If it comes off easily and you can insert a knife into the stem without adding much pressure it is done. If not continue to steam for up to another 15 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the artichoke.

Step 5 – Eat your artichoke with a variety of dipping sauces. For more info on how to eat an artichoke check out this great photo step by step guide from Chow.