Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Pesto Butter

Author: Canadian Living

The tighter and more compact the artichoke, the fresher it is. To eat the cooked artichoke, pull off each leaf, dip it in butter and pull between your teeth to release the tender bottom bit, then discard the tough leaf. Once leaves are removed, cut up the base, or heart, which is known as the jewel in the crown.

  • Portion size 6 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2006


  • 6 artichokes (about 2.5 lb/1.25 kg)
  • 1 lemon halved
Lemon Pesto Butter:
  • 3/4 cups butter softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced


Rubbing all cuts with lemon as you work, trim artichoke stems to level. Using serrated knife, cut off top third of each artichoke. With scissors, snip off thorny tips of remaining leaves. Open centre leaves slightly. Using teaspoon, scrape out tiny centre leaves and hairy choke beneath. Set aside.

Lemon Pesto Butter: In food processor, blend together butter, basil, Parmesan cheese, lemon rind and juice, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in garlic. Spoon 2 tbsp (25 mL) into centre of each artichoke; set remaining butter mixture aside. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate artichokes and butter separately for up to 24 hours.)

Place steamer basket in wok or shallow pan; add enough water to come 1 inch (2.5 cm) from basket. Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-high. Stand artichokes on rack; cover and steam until outer leaf can be easily pulled off, about 35 minutes.

In microwaveable bowl, microwave remaining butter mixture until melted. Place in centre of platter for dipping; surround with artichokes.

Nutritional facts <b>Per serving:</b> about

  • Sodium 369 mg
  • Protein 4 g
  • Calories 260.0
  • Total fat 24 g
  • Cholesterol 75 mg
  • Saturated fat 15 g
  • Total carbohydrate 10 g


  • Iron 9.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 20.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 8.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 24.0
  • Vitamin C 17.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Pesto Butter