Here's a guide from the California Artichoke Advisory Board on how to prepare beautiful fresh artichokes, to serve with one or more of these 8 delectable dips.

To prepare 4 large artichokes:

  1. Wash artichokes under cold running water. Using a stainless steel knife, to prevent discoloration, cut off stems at base; remove small bottom leaves.
  2. Slice tips to create a flat top surface, if desired. You also can snip tips off lower leaves with scissors, if desired.
  3. As each artichoke is cut, plunge it into cold water to which lemon slices, 1 Tb. lemon juice or 1 Tb. vinegar has been added, to help prevent discoloration.
  4. Stand artichokes upright in deep saucepan large enough to hold snugly. Add 1 teaspoon salt and two to three inches boiling water. (Lemon juice, herbs, garlic powder or onion powder may be added for flavor, if desired.)
  5. Cover and boil artichokes gently for 35 to 45 minutes or until bases can be pierced easily with fork. (Add a little more boiling water, if needed.)
  6. Turn artichokes upside down to drain. Cool completely; cover and refrigerate to chill.
  7. Serve with any of the 8 wonderful, creamy dips presented here.

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