Artichokes di Campagna, Tarragon Dip

In the Italian countryside, or “campagna”, everybody knows how to cook artichokes. This is the quickest and one of the most delicious ways to prepare them. When I have only 15 minutes, this is my favorite vegetable. Artichokes are one of the best foods for liver health and to balance blood sugar. Steaming artichokes is quick and healthy because the temperature that never exceeds boiling 212°F, protecting valuable vitamins and enzymes. This recipe is easy – just cut a raw artichoke in half and steam it face down while you make the dipping sauce. Serves 2

artichokes in pan

A quick way to cook artichokes: Cut in half and put them face-down in the pan. Add 1/4-inch water, cover, and steam for several minutes until soft enough to eat.

Artichokes di Campagna, Tarragon Dip


  • 1 large artichoke
  • Tarragon Dip:
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 1/4 teaspoon PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 1 teaspoon raw honey, or 2 teaspoons of your favorite sweetener.
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely minced, or 1 tablespoon if dry
  • (Or substitute basil)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter (not coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard (optional)


  1. Rinse the artichoke. With a large sharp knife, slice it vertically into two equal halves, including the stem. Trim the stem if necessary to fit into a skillet. Place both halves in a flat skillet face down with 1/4 cup filtered water and a pinch of salt.
  2. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pan and turn the heat down, allowing the artichokes to boil slowly for 10 to 15 minutes until soft. Keep an eye on them while you make the sauce, and add a bit more water if it boils dry.
  3. Make the dipping sauce: Juice the lemon and place the juice in a small bowl. Add all remaining ingredients: sweetener, crushed garlic, tarragon, parsley, coconut butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, and optional mustard. Stir with a small whisk or a fork until smooth.
  4. Steam artichokes until done. To test for doneness, pull a leaf away. It should pull off easily and the meat on the inside will be soft. When done, place the artichokes on 2 plates face up. Garnish with chopped parsley and tarragon, or pour some of the sauce over the top. Pour the rest of the sauce into 2 individual dipping bowls. Enjoy!

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