Gilding the artichoke

Better, lighter dunks for enjoying the edible thorn
ELAINE JOHNSON

Artichokes with Lemonnaise

Dipped in mayonnaise, drizzled with olive oil, dunked in melted butter ― we know plenty of naughty ways to savor that edible thistle, the artichoke. On its own, the artichoke is innocent of fat, and a large specimen contains a mere 60 calories. Yet naked artichokes are by no means festive. So how do you give the illusion of richness while honoring the artichoke's virtuous profile?

Jane Rubey, a cooking instructor and dietitian from Orinda, California, has created a deceptively creamy, pleasingly tangy sauce she calls "lemonnaise."

What's her secret? Silken tofu. It has none of the chalky texture or strong flavor of other kinds of tofu. In fact, not one of our tasters could pick it out in our lemonnaise sampling.

You can whirl up the sauce in just a couple of minutes, and it takes well to many variations. Add just one or two ingredients and it becomes an entirely different sauce. The recipe lists eight sauce options.