Here in London artichokes made their debut on the market stalls a few weeks ago and will continue their run for some time yet. Preparation takes a few minutes but is straight forward enough so it is probably worth doing a few at the same time and storing them. Before you start have a bowl of water with a few drops of either lemon juice or vinegar added to stop oxidation and a large waste bag for the discarded leaves and stalks.
This method is best for young to middle sized artichokes but for larger artichokes where the leaves have become woody remove the stem entirely and boil whole in salted water for about 15 - 20 minutes. Then serve standing in a soup bowl with a melted butter or vinaigrette dip. Diners can remove each leaf and scrape out the flesh with their teeth before removing the hairy choke with a knife and eating the fleshy base.