Do you love the ritual of eating an artichoke—slowly scraping off the pulp of the artichoke, leaf by leaf, accompanied by a luscious dip? The duo of dips make the steamed artichokes that much more enticing: choose either an herbed butter or a spicy mayo.

I thought this recipe would be a fantastic part of our Aphrodisiac theme. Ancient Greeks and Romans considered artichokes a delicacy and an aphrodisiac. I envision this dish shared by 2 people romantically connected. Choose which sauce works for your lover—or serve both—sultry and buttery or creamy and spicy. The idea: dip and feed each other individual leaves.

MAKES 2

PREPARE THE ARTICHOKES

2 large artichokes

Peel off the leaves near the stem. Cut off the thorns at the top of each leaf with scissors (2 rows). Chop an inch off the top. Wash artichoke thoroughly, get in between the leaves to remove any hidden dirt. Trim the stem.

HOBNOBMAG artichokes trimmed

COOK THE ARTICHOKES

prepared artichokes
bay leaf
juice from 1 lemon

Set up a pot for steaming, toss in bay leaf. Position artichokes, squeeze lemon juice over them. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover. Steam for 45 min, flipping the artichoke at 20 min. The artichoke is done when leaves pull off easily. While artichokes steam, make the sauce.

recipe

Herbed Butter Dipping Sauce

Serve this sauce to the person who likes rich things.

MAKES ABOUT 3/4 CUP

MAKE THE SAUCE

5 TB butter
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
pinch of cayenne

Add ingredients to a small bowl. Melt butter in the microwave (start with 11 seconds). When butter is mostly melted, stir to finish. Serve immediately.

recipe

Spicy Mayo Dipping Sauce

Serve this sauce to the person who likes things spicy.

MAKES ABOUT 3/4 CUP

MAKE THE DIP

1/2 CUP mayonnaise
1 TB dijon mustard
2 tsp sriracha
juice from 1/2 lime
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sugar

Mix everything together in a bowl.

Get in the mood with more recipes for romance in 12 Aphrodisiacs