We prefer thorny green globe artichokes for this classic preparation.
4 medium artichokes
1 lemon, halved
1. Using a sharp kitchen knife, trim off stems, just at the base, from artichokes, then cut top one-third off each. Snip off thorned tip or about the top quarter of each leaf with a pair of scissors.
2. Rub cut surface with lemon to prevent discoloration. Put artichokes stem side down into a steamer basket set over a pot of simmering salted water over medium-high heat.
3. Cover pot and steam until stem ends of artichokes are tender when pierced with a fork and leaves pull out easily, 1–1 1/2 hours.
4. Serve artichokes hot, at room temperature, or cold, with mayonnaise, vinaigrette, or melted butter for dipping, if you like.