I've loved artichokes since I was a kid. In my book, they are just about the most perfect vegetable around. My mom used to serve them with mayonnaise for dipping so I just thought that's how everyone ate them. It was years later that I learned the "normal" dipping sauce for artichokes was melted butter! As I got more into cooking I started experimenting with different options for dipping sauces. After trying a bunch of different combos I finally landed on this one as my all-time favorite dipping sauce.
This sauce has just a hint of sweetness from the honey that balances out the earthy, nutty flavor from the cumin. The blend of crème fraîche and mascarpone give it a consistency that works perfectly with the artichoke leaves.
So, now that you have the perfect artichoke dipping sauce, let's talk about how to get those artichokes steamed just right too!
Steaming Artichokes in the Instant Pot
Artichokes take a while to steam on the stovetop, but with an Instant Pot, you can cut that cooking time down by about a half. To start you'll want to prep and trim as many fresh artichokes as you'd like to cook. I can fit 2-3 in my 3-quart Instant Pot and you can fit 4-5 in a 6-quart Instant Pot.
Once your artichokes are ready to go, place the steamer rack in your Instant Pot. Add some water (1 cup), a bay leaf, a lemon wedge or two and some cracked pepper to the bottom of the pot. Then place your artichokes in a single layer on the steamer rack. I've always cooked my artichokes with the stem side down, however, I know other people who cook them stem side up, so you can place them in whichever way you prefer.
Then secure the lid, set the Instant Pot to cook on “manual” or "pressure cook" mode on high pressure for 10 minutes (or 12 minutes for very large artichokes. To finish let the pressure release naturally for about 5 minutes and then use the quick release valve to release any remaining pressure.
You might have noticed that I'm a bit of a late adopter when it comes to the Instant Pot. At first, I was thinking it was just another kitchen "gadget" that maybe I didn't really need. But several months ago, right after I moved to Denver, I took the plunge and bought one. I have to say, what a great purchase! I have been liking it so much I even bought my dad one for his birthday!
The 3-quart version is just the right size if you do a lot of cooking for two. You'll definitely be seeing more of my Instant Pot creations in the coming months!
Since this recipe is based on two ingredients - crème fraîche and mascarpone - that you probably don't use every day, you might be asking "what can I do with the leftovers so I'm not wasting them?" Here are a couple of ideas that use one or the other:
- This Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar is topped with a vanilla mascarpone cream
- Miso Glazed Roasted Cauliflower is topped with the same sauce, which is great on many steamed or grilled veggies
- Pea Risotto gets an extra creamy texture from the addition of mascarpone
- Grilled or poached fruit is excellent topped with a little bit of mascarpone
- Both this Skillet Lemon Chicken and this Chardonnay Chicken are great weeknight meals that have sauces using crème fraîche
- A dollop of crème fraîche is also a nice topping for soups like this Tomato Gazpacho
Things You May Want for This Recipes
Dash, Pinch, Smidgen Measuring Spoons – While you can certainly guess at these measurements, why not grab a set of these cute little measuring spoons so you are always including just the right amount of an ingredient in your recipes.
My Favorite Artichoke Dipping Sauce
- 1 - 2 large artichokes, trimmed
- ¼ cup crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon honey
- dash of ground pepper
- pinch of ground cumin
- Use your preferred method to steam the artichokes.
- While the artichokes are steaming, mix all of the ingredients except for the artichokes in a small bowl. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until ready to serve.