Trim the sharp tips of the outside artichoke leaves with a sharp knife. Cut off the top of the artichoke about 1-inch and remove the stem so that the bottom is flat. Wash the artichoke in cold water and rub all cut surfaces with some of the fresh lemon juice and pulp.
(A round slice of lemon may be tied to the bottom of the artichoke to prevent oxidation of the base.)
Bring water to a boil, add the salt and the remaining pieces of the lemon, rind and all, and place the artichokes base down. Cover the pot and bring the water to the boil again before lowering the heat to a simmer. Cook the artichoke at a steady simmer for 35 to 45 minutes or until a leaf pulls easily free from the center. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the water, remove cool to room temperature. When cool some of the cooking juices may be drizzled over the top of the artichokes.
In a stainless steel bowl combine the vinegar, mustard, herbs, salt and pepper and whisk to emulsify. Add the oil in a small steady stream until all the oil has been incorporated and the dressing has achieved a silky, smooth texture. The dressing may be stored, covered, for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, but should be brought to room temperature before using.
Serve the artichoke with some vinaigrette on the side as a dip for each leaf or drizzled over the heart.
Copyright Michael Lomonaco 1997
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