Artichokes Steamed in White Wine and Broth

I have always loved artichokes. My parents boil them in a big pot of water and serve them with either melted butter or a mayonnaise yogurt dip. I have fond memories of the whole family tossing the scraped leaves into a big bowl in the center of the dinner table.

Recently my mom changed her artichoke tune. Instead of tossing them in a pot of water for 45 minutes, she prepared them with oil and vinegar and steamed them with white wine and chicken broth. She only cooks them for 20 minutes because -- now brace yourself -- she microwaves them. Never would I have imagined that you could produce something so flavorful in a microwave, but she's done it. The outer leaves are a bit tougher than when you boil them, but the inner part of the flower is tender and delicious.

And now I'll share her recipe.

Two artichokes
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
White wine
Chicken broth


 Snip off the tips of the leaves so you don't get stabbed while working with the artichokes

Cut the top inch or so off the top of each artichoke.

Cut off the bottom half inch of the stem and cut the whole artichoke in half.

With a spoon, scrape out the furry centers and inner leaves. This is kind of tough, so really work at it. You might need to use your fingers to yank out the inner pointy leaves.

Place the halves in a microwave-safe dish. Make a light dressing of two parts olive oil to one part vinegar. No need to be exact. We maybe used 1/4 cup oil and 1/8 cup vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now pour the dressing in between the leaves and coat the outsides of the artichokes. You may need to add more oil and vinegar if you run out. No biggie.

Pour about 1/4 cup of white wine into the dish.

Add some broth too. There should be about a half an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan, so add broth and wine if needs be.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the plastic wrap when done (it will be quite hot) and check an inner leaf for doneness. If it's still tough, microwave another five minutes.

Reserve the liquid in the dish and use it to dip the leaves in. Add a little mayo or yogurt for a creamy dip. Don't forget a big bowl in the middle of the table!

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