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OK. You'll need artichokes, 2-3 lemons, a few fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, mint) 2-3 garlic gloves, melted butter or good olive oil to serve.

Cut the top inch off the artichoke with a serrated knife. Snap off and discard any battered outer leaves.

Using scissors, trim the remaining pointy leaf-ends off the artichoke. Cut the stem flush with the artichoke body.

Fill a bowl with cold water and a couple sliced lemons, squeeze the juice out and dunk each artichoke into the water as you prepare it so it doesn't turn dark while you prepare the others.

Fit a medium pot large enough to hold the artichoke/s with a steamer basket. Slice the remaining lemon and use it to line the steamer. Arrange herb sprigs and garlic over the lemon.

Put the artichoke stem-end up in the steamer. Add enough water to come up to the bottom of the steamer. Cover and steam over medium-high heat, adding more water if necessary, until outer leaves can be easily removed from the artichoke and the base can be readily pierced with a knife, about 40 minutes.

Serve the artichoke warm with melted butter or good olive oil. To eat, remove each leaf from the artichoke, dip it into the butter or oil, then scrape the soft part off with your teeth. Repeat with each leaf.

When you get to the middle, you'll find the hairy purple "choke". Dig that out with your fork or spoon and discard it, then enjoy the artichoke heart, (the bit that is left).


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