After trimming and cutting artichokes, drop them into a bowl of lemon water to prevent discoloration.
1. Starting at the base, pull off and discard the tough outer leaves until you reach the tender yellow inner leaves.
2. Cut the stem off flush with the bottom of the leaves and discard it.
3. Using a serrated knife, slice off the top 1 to 2 inches of the remaining leaves to remove the thorns. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise through the center. Using a teaspoon, scrape out the furry choke and drop the halves into a bowl of lemon water. If your recipe calls for quartered artichokes, cut each half lengthwise and then drop the quarters into the lemon water.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion: The A to Z Guide to Everyday Cooking, Equipment and Ingredients (Time-Life Books, 2000)