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Steamed Artichokes with Tarragon Butter

Martha Stewart's Cooking School

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This recipe for steamed artichokes with tarragon butter is from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School.

First of all, artichokes are everything a vegetable should be: slightly sweet, slightly bitter with a hint of a nuttiness to it. But as soon as you bring tarragon into the picture, the flavour profile of those artichokes will become almost too good to be true… almost.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Artichokes

  • 4 medium or large globe artichokes (about 2 lbs total)
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon
  • coarse salt
  • juice of ½ lemon

Tarragon Butter

  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • coarse salt

For Serving

  • 1 small head frisee (pale yellow leaves only)
  • 1 ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Champagne vinegar
  • flakey sea salt, such as Maldon
  • lemon wedges

Directions

  1. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top quarter of each artichoke. Use kitchen shears to trim tips of artichoke leaves. Remove any small leaves from bottoms of artichokes and trim stems so artichokes can stand upright.
  2. Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water and add a sprig of tarragon and a pinch of salt. Set steamer basket in pot (make sure water doesn’t seep through holes). Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a rapid simmer.
  3. Stand artichokes stem end up in steamer and season with salt. Squeeze lemon juice over artichokes. Cover pot and steam until bottoms of artichokes are very tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 50 minutes. (Add more hot water if necessary to maintain level during cooking.)
  4. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then stir in chopped tarragon and season with salt.
  5. To serve, place frisee in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Toss gently to coat. Remove the fuzzy chokes from each of the artichokes and discard. Place one quarter of the frisee salad into the centre of each artichoke to fill. Sprinkle with flakey salt. Serve with a lemon wedge and warm tarragon butter on the side for dipping.
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