To steam whole artichokes, wash them under cold water and peel off any tough outer leaves. Cut off any sharp or spiky petals with kitchen shears, and slice about an inch off the top of the artichoke. Sprinkle lemon juice over the cut areas to avoid discoloration.
To prepare using Martha Stewart's method, use a steamer basket and a pot of water seasoned with salt and lemon juice. The water should be filled to the point just below the basket. Once it is boiling, put the artichokes in the steamer stem-side up, cover with a lid and cook for 25 to 35 minutes until the artichoke heart is tender and the inner leaves come off easily. Stewart recommends serving the artichokes with Hollandaise or garlic mayonnaise sauce.
Tyler Florence from Food Network uses a different approach. For his recipe, place 4 sprigs of parsley, 4 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves and 2 halved lemons into a large pot along with 1 quart of chicken broth or water, 1/4 cup of white wine and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place prepared artichokes in the liquid stem-side down, cover the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. Tyler Florence recommends dipping the artichoke petals in lemon juice and melted butter.