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.
Salt & pepper
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!