Chokes: Hold the Butter

Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

Whole steamed artichokes have a wonderful flavor on their own, so instead of a rich butter sauce, try this low-fat tarragon sauce that allows the true flavor of the artichoke to come through. Beautiful artichokes are now available at supermarkets and farmers' markets.

After dipping the artichoke leaves in the sauce, scoop out the 'choke before indulging in the artichoke bottom. Some people like to remove all the leaves, scoop out the choke and serve the artichoke bottom on salad greens with a sauce. It's up to the individual; either way it's delicious.


4 artichokes

1 lemon, halved, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup nonfat sour cream

1 tablespoon minced capers

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced tarragon

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons nonfat milk

Cut top third off artichokes. Cut thorny tip off each leaf. Rub cut edges with lemon to prevent discoloration. Cut stems off artichokes and stand upright in steamer. Steam until leaf easily pulls out of artichoke, 45 to 50 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, capers, garlic, lemon juice, tarragon and salt until blended. Stir in milk. Serve sauce with warm or cold whole artichokes.

4 servings. Each serving:

161 calories; 925 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 1.60 grams fiber.

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