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Artichokes for Two

4 to 8 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 fresh artichokes (about 8 oz. each)
1 lemon, thinly sliced and halved
1/4 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon parsley
Combine 6 tablespoons butter with garlic in small bowl. Set aside.

Cut stem off artichoke; trim tips of leaves; rinse.

Place artichokes in 1 1/2 quart casserole. Pour butter mixture
over artichokes. Cover with plastic wrap (or loose fitting plastic
lid).

Cook at high 14-16 minutes (I find that the newer microwaves take
less time, plus you could do this on the stove instead, increase
your time to about 45 minutes).

Combine 2 tablespoons butter with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle
over cooked artichokes. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes before serving.


Depending on how much time I have, I either steam the artichokes
in about an inch of boiling water in covered pot (this takes 30
minutes to 1 hour, depending on the artichokes), or I put them in
a bowl with about an inch of water (loosely covered) and microwave
them (about 8-10 minutes). Artichokes are done when you can poke
a fork easily into the leaves (kind of like what you'd do with
baked potatoes).

There are also artichoke stands that you can get at specialty
stores, they raise the artichoke up out of the water, so it's not
boiled (just steamed).

TIPS

If you trim the tops of the leaves, you won't poke yourself every
time you pull a leaf off.

Once trimmed, holding the stem press the top of the artichoke down
on a cutting board and press and twist it a bit. This opens up
the leaves for a much better job of rinsing (sometimes there are
small bugs and dirt deep in the leaves).

You can put thin slices of lemon or lime between the leaves for an
artichoke that tastes great with or without a dip!


DIPS

butter, butter & garlic salt

olive oil, flavored olive oils, olive oil with garlic salt, olive
oil with balsamic vinegar, olive oil with minced roasted garlic
(think of what you might like on french bread, then use that as a
dip for the artichoke instead)

orange juice, orange juice mixed with yogurt

any yogurt-based sauce (yogurt-cucumber-lemon, for instance)

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