Steamed artichokes are traditionally served with a butter sauce or mayonnaise type of dipping sauce. I wanted to upgrade to a healthy dipping sauce for artichokes. Since it is nice to have a creamy sauce I decided to use tahini as my base.
Tahini is a nutritional powerhouse, tahini contains all the essential amino acids, making it a high quality protein, plus it is rich in lecithin, vitamin E and calcium. It is easily digestible because its high alkaline mineral content neutralizes the acid end products of the protein. It is an excellent source of quick energy for active people and athletes.
How To Eat An Artichoke
If you have never eaten a whole cooked artichoke before it can appear to be a daunting task. What is eaten and what is thrown away?
Begin with a cooked artichoke. Starting at the base of the artichoke, pull off a leaf.
Dip the bottom of each leaf in a dipping sauce, use your teeth to scrape the flesh from the bottom of the leaf. This is the only part you eat until you get to the heart. Have a bowl or plate on the side for the discarded leaves.
As you progress upward from the base, the leaves become more tender, with larger edible portions until you reach the choke (the undeveloped flower).
When you reach the papery leaves that cover the heart in the middle, pull them off and discard.
Scrape away the fuzzy choke with a spoon and discard. Cut up the heart. Dip into the sauce and enjoy.
Tahini Dill Sauce
This makes ¾ cup of sauce enough for 2 large artichokes
¼ cup tahini
2 Tb lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 tsp garlic, minced
¼ cup Celtic sea salt
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
Make the dipping sauce:
- Mix all ingredients, except dill, together in a bowl (or use a mini blender)
- Whisk with a mini whisk or fork until smooth and creamy
- Stir in the dill
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
2 large artichokes
½ lemon (0ptional)
- Pull off the tough bottom leaves. Cut off the stem at the bottom, so the artichoke will stand upright.
- Using scissors, cut away the thorny end of each leaf, be careful they are a little spiky.
- Lay an artichoke on its side on a cutting board. Use a knife to cut the tip off the top of the artichoke.
- Now that the spiky ends are off, Wash the artichoke in cool water, separating the leaves slightly to clean out any trapped dirt.
- Pour water into a large pot to reach a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Add the trimmed artichokes in the bottom in a single layer. If you want, add in half a lemon for additional lemon flavor.
- Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium and steam until tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of artichokes. When the leaves pull out easily and the base can be pierced with a knife, they’re ready.
- Drain well and transfer to a plate. They are good served hot or cold. You can store cooked artichokes in the refrigerator and reheat in a pot with a little water.
- Dip the bottom of each leaf in the sauce, use your teeth to scrape the flesh from the bottom of the leaf. This is the only part you eat until you get to the heart. Have a bowl or plate on the side for the discarded leaves.
- When you reach the papery leaves that cover the heart in the middle, pull them off and discard.
- Scrape away the fuzzy choke with a spoon and discard. Cut up the heart. Dip into the sauce and enjoy.
If you want to go with a traditional sauce. Here is a basic butter sauce. It is best to use Grass Fed Cultured Butter. To learn more about the health benefits of butter read my article on Is Butter A Healthy Food
Lemon Thyme Butter
1/2 cup organic grass fed, cultured butter
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Gently melt butter
- Add in thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine, serve immediately