Dinner Tonight: Steamed Artichokes with Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

I was quite the picky eater in my youth. I didn’t touch green beans, wouldn’t go near cooked carrots, and never had a salad I liked until junior high. But against all reason and logic, I did love artichokes. From the moment I started eating artichokes, I remember actually enjoying them. Perhaps it’s the activity of picking up off the petals, dipping them in butter, and pulling off the “meat” of the vegetable with my teeth. What fun food to eat!

The steaming business is pretty basic, but I wanted to see if there was anything besides my beloved butter to dip the petals in. I found this watered down vinaigrette in Cooks Illustrated. I personally thought the vinaigrette was a little fussy and preferred the comfort of the melted butter, but the fiancée completely disagreed and preferred the balance of the vinaigrette. It was nice to have a choice. Martha Stewart, in her New Classics Cookbook, suggests dipping the petals in an aioli. Am I missing other good options?


  • 2 large artichokes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. With a large knife, cut off the top quarter of the artichokes and then remove the stem. Sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon of salt on top of the them and then place them in a steamer basket over the boiling water. Cook for 45 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and whisk until fully combined.

  3. Remove the artichokes from the steamer basket and serve with the vinaigrette as a dipping sauce.