Steamed Artichokes with Dipping Sauces

Depending on the size of your steamer basket, you can cook up to eight fresh artichokes at one time using this method to cook artichokes.

Steamed Artichokes with Dipping Sauces
Photo: Brie Passano
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 4 artichokes

  • 2 lemons (1 halved; 1 cut into wedges)

  • Fresh Mint, Basil, and Pistachio Sauce; Tarragon Buttter; and/or Dijon Dipping Sauce

Fresh Mint, Basil and Pistachio Sauce for Dipping

  • 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

  • ¼ cup roasted, salted pistachios

  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Warm Tarragon Butter

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 8 sprigs fresh tarragon, 4 to 5 inches

  • 1 lemon (2 tsp. zest, 2 tsp. juice)

  • Coarse salt or sea salt

Dijon Dipping Sauce with Shallots

  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot

  • 2 teaspoon white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoon safflower or olive oil

  • Chopped chives and/or chive flowers


  1. Snap off any tough or browned outer leaves. Use a serrated knife to slice off the top inch of each artichoke. Immediately rub cut surface with lemon halves. Use scissors to snip off all the sharp leaf tips. Trim stem from artichoke bottom so artichokes will sit upright. (If you trim more than 1 inch of stem, peel it and add to steamer with artichokes.)

  2. Set steamer basket over simmering water in a large pot. Arrange artichokes in basket, fitting snugly so they stand up. Cover; bring to boiling. Cook until an artichoke leaf near the center can be pulled off easily, about 30 minutes

  3. Serve artichokes and any stems warm with lemon wedges and sauces. Makes 4 artichokes.

Fresh Mint, Basil and Pistachio Sauce for Dipping

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves. Cook 7 to 10 minutes or until the skins are browned and the cloves are softened, shaking skillet occasionally. Remove from skillet; let cool.

  2. Remove garlic skins and transfer cloves to a food processor along with the pistachios, basil, and 1/4 cup mint; pulse until very coarsely chopped, about five pulses. Add the lemon juice and a pinch of coarse salt. With machine running, add 1/3 cup of the olive oil; process until combined. Transfer mixture to a bowl.

  3. Coarsely chop the remaining 1/4 cup mint leaves and stir into the pistachio mixture. Stir in the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve sauce immediately, or press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the sauce and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Stir sauce to reemulsify before serving. Makes 3/4 cup.

Warm Tarragon Butter

  1. In a small saucepan melt the butter with six of the tarragon sprigs and the lemon zest over medium. Remove from heat; let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

  2. Remove leaves from remaining tarragon sprigs. Finely chop leaves; you need 1 1/2 tablespoons. If necessary, rewarm butter and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids. Stir chopped tarragon and lemon juice into the butter. Season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Serve warm. Makes 1 cup.

Dijon Dipping Sauce with Shallots

  1. In a small bowl stir together shallot and white wine vinegar with a pinch of coarse salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in mustard and mayonnaise. Gradually whisk in oil until emulsified. Season with an additional 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Top with chives. Refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days. Makes 2/3 cup.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

64 Calories
14g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 64
% Daily Value *
Sodium 72mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 8.9mg 44%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 0.7mg 4%
Potassium 343mg 7%
Folate, total 106.8mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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