Baby artichokes require less trimming than regular ones, and cook a bit more quickly. Choose ones that are small and unblemished.
Photography: MAURA MCEVOY
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2000
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
8 baby artichokes
1/2 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons grainy mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Fill a small stockpot with water, and add 2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze juice into water, and add squeezed halves. Remove tough outer leaves of artichokes, and pare down stems using a vegetable peeler. Add artichokes to acidulated water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until leaves are easily removed and heart is tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander, and set aside.
Place 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small saute pan over medium-low heat, and add the chopped shallot. Saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and add mustard, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and red-wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Serve reserved artichokes with the warm vinaigrette on the side for dipping.