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Artichokes for Two

Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

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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