Remove the top inch of the artichoke with a serrated knife, which will deftly saw through the tough outer leaves.
Trim the steam and peel off any blackened portions.
Snap off the small outer leaves around the bottom. Use kitchen shears to trim the pointy tips from the remaining leaves.
The choke - the inner prickly or hair portion - can be removed before steaming.
If you are stuffing the Artichoke prey open the artichoke and use a melon ballar to scoop out the choke.
If serving whole, leaves the choke intact.
When steamed, it will pull away easily once exposed.