Today's tip

People shy away from cooking with them because of the seemingly laborious process for cleaning and prepping them.

Fill a bowl with cold water, and add the juice of one lemon plus the squeezed-out lemon halves. Peel and trim the stem of an artichoke. Pluck off any tough outer leaves and discard. Using a paring knife, trim away any tough parts around the base and stem of the artichoke. With a serrated knife, cut off the top third of the artichoke petals and discard. Now push the leaves out gently to expose the fuzzy purple choke. With a small spoon, scrape out all of the choke to expose the heart at the bottom of the artichoke. Put the prepared artichoke in the bowl of water with the lemon juice, to keep it from oxidizing (turning brown), and finish cleaning the remaining artichokes. If you are particular about your hands, wear gloves during cleaning: artichokes will also leave a dark brown stain on your hands, and sometimes the outer leaves are sharp and will pinch.