Simply steamed and served with melted butter, tender artichokes make a wonderful first course or side dish.
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When purchasing artichokes, choose plump compact globes that are heavy in relation to their size, with fresh, green inner leaves.
If you've never eaten a fresh artichoke before, you might wonder how to get at it. Remove a leaf, dip it in melted butter and draw it between your teeth to scrape off the meaty part. Keep removing leaves until you can see the little center cone of light green leaves. Cut the leaves from the cone, and remove and discard the fuzzy choke to reveal the meaty heart in the center.
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