1. Pull off tough outer leaves on stem and bottom.
2. Use a sharp knife to cut off the artichoke’s top third. Use kitchen shears to snip off any small, sharp thorns on ends of remaining leaves. Cut off the very bottom of stem; peel stem. Place artichoke in a bowl of cold water mixed with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice while you finish any remaining artichokes.
3. Boil or steam for 30 to 40 minutes, or microwave (in a covered bowl with a bit of water and lemon juice) for 6 to 7 minutes for one (about 2 minutes longer for two). When stem is tender when pierced, remove from heat.