Boiled artichokes may be served hot with melted butter, Hollandaise sauce, or various cream sauces. They may also be chilled and served with vinaigrette sauce or mayonnaise. They make a delicious first course, but they can also be served instead of a salad or as the vegetable accompaniment to a meat dish. The dechoking of the artichokes may be done before or after cooking.
6 medium-sized artichokes
1 lemon, cut in quarters
8 pints water
3 tablespoons salt
With a sharp knife, cut the stalks off the artichokes. Pull off any bruised or tough outer leaves. Lay each artichoke on its side and slice off the top third of it. With kitchen scissors, trim -inch off the points of the rest of the leaves.
Wash the artichoke under cold running water. Rub the cut edges with a piece of the lemon to prevent them discolouring.
If you wish to remove the chokes before cooking, spread the top leaves apart and pull out the prickly leaves surrounding thq hairy choke. With a teaspoon, scrape out the choke. Squeeze a little lemon juice into the centre and press. the leaves back together again.
Put the water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the salt. Drop in the artichokes, base down, and bring the water to a boil again. Boil briskly, uncovered, turning the artichokes occasionally. If you have removed the chokes, cook for about 15 minutes. If the chokes have not been removed, cook for about 30 minutes. The artichokes are cooked when their bases are tender when pierced with a sharp knife and the leaves pull out easily.
With a slotted spoon, remove the arti-chokes from the saucepan and drain them upside down in a colander. vlYHtaa