The Bright And Flavorful Way Martha Stewart Steams Fresh Artichokes

Artichokes can be intimidating; their thick, succulent, flower-like appearance juxtaposed with those spikey tips may leave you wondering how to properly prepare them. But don't worry, Martha Stewart has you covered with her steaming technique that produces a bright and flavorful artichoke. In a clip of "Martha's Cooking School" shared to her Youtube channel, Stewart explains that you want to place your artichokes upside down in your steamer basket while adding salt — and a lot of it — to the water to bring out this vegetable's unique, mild, and nutty flavor. Additionally, the bestie to the stars insists on squeezing lemon juice over the artichoke stem and in the water. 

Why so much lemon? Stewart says you want to place the lemon halves in the water to infuse its flavor along with a sprig of tarragon. The addition of the lemon to the water is going to do two things: It is an extra precautionary step to ensure the artichoke doesn't turn brown, but it also brightens the taste of those artichoke leaves in a big way due to its acidic nature. 

How to tell when the artichokes are done

Stewart says the whole steaming process should take anywhere from 30 to 35 minutes and you want to make certain that the water is brought to a true boil so the artichokes steam properly. When the stem is tender and you can poke through it with a knife without any resistance, your artichokes are done and ready to be enjoyed. If you find that your water is evaporating quicker than your artichoke is cooking, feel free to add a little more water; it will not dilute the brightness of the lemon flavor you've achieved.

When they're done, melt some butter and use it as a dip as you enjoy the leaves. If you like how this beautiful, yellow citrus amps up the flavor of this delicious veggie, you can get creative and add other aromatics along with the lemons like garlic, and your favorite herbs and spices. Another option to add a similar bright taste is adding some white wine to the water to steam your artichokes.