6 large artichokes
1/2 cup fruity olive oil
2 to 3 lemons
a few sprigs of fresh dill
salt to taste
You will need a sharp knife, a pair of kitchen shears, a grapefruit spoon and a large pot of water into which you have squeezed the juice of 1 lemon.
Remove tough outer leaves of artichoke and peel stem. Cut top half of each leaf with shears or, holding your thumb about halfway up a leaf, snap off top part of leaf and pull it down to remove outer layer of leaf. Cut tips of inner leaves so they are even with other leaves. You should be able to stand artichokes on this cut end. Open leaves and reach into the artichoke with your spoon to scrape out choke. Be sure to get it all out as it is inedible. Rub artichoke with a cut lemon to prevent discoloring and drop into water.
Once prepared, stand artichokes in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cover with water, juice of 1 lemon, salt and dill. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer. Lemons vary greatly in acidity so taste the water. It should be sour. If it is not, add more lemon.
Simmer for about 30 minutes and then add olive oil. Cook another 20-30 minutes or until tender. Pull off a leaf to test for doneness. When done, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. The artichokes may be made a day ahead and kept in a cool place. If you must refrigerate, remove at least an hour before serving to bring to room temperature. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 6.
Recipe adapted from Arlene Voski Avakians Through the Kitchen Window: Women Explore the Intimate Meanings of Food and Cooking (Beacon Press, 1997)