The first step is to slice off the top of each artichoke, about 1 inch deep. Since most of the “meat” is located inside the bottom of each leaf, you don’t need the tough portion on the top of the leaves. Discard these pointy pieces (or get fancy and save them for a vegetable stock!)
Next, remove about one inch from the bottom of each stem. There is no real reason for this other than creating more space in the pot when you cook them. In fact, I don’t eat much of the stem at all so you could probably even remove more but I like the look of leaving a little of it intact.
Grab a pair of scissors for the third step and carefully slice off the pointy tops of each remaining leaf on the outer edge of the artichoke. Be sure to carefully rotate the artichoke in a circle to make sure you don’t have any prickly pieces remaining.
At this point you are now ready to cook the artichokes. My favorite cooking method is to line a steamer basket with lemon slices and bring 2-3 inches of water to a roaring boil. Place the artichokes in the pan, facing down, and cover tightly with a lid. Steam until the inner leaves pull easily and the hearts are tender about 30-35 minutes.