3 lemons, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
3 chives, minced (optional)
Wash artichokes and let dry. Prep artichokes by cutting about an inch from top (non-stem end) with a serrated knife. Rub cut surface with half of one lemon to prevent from browning. Trim any leaves with thorns with kitchen shears. Cut a bit off the stem (about ¼ inch) and peel the rest with a vegetable peeler. Rub all over with lemon.
In a medium saucepan, bring about 4 inches of water to a boil with a pinch of kosher salt. Place artichokes stem side up in the boiling water and turn heat to a simmer. Add juice from half of lemon into the water. Cover and steam for about 25-30 minutes, or until you can (very easily) remove the leaves (see note)*.When done, remove artichokes from water and let cool.
Meanwhile, prepare your hummus. Add chickpeas, garlic, tahini, olive oil and the juice of two lemons. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the machine as needed, about 3 minutes. Add more olive oil or lemon juice until desired consistency is reached.
When artichokes are cool enough to handle peel back a few of the very bottom leaves to expose the heart. Carefully trim around the heart with a paring knife. Wiggle the heart and stem free and discard of the fuzzy choke attached to it by using a spoon and scraping it off, or a paring knife and carefully cutting it off. Scoop any remaining choke out from the inside of the artichoke, give it rinse, and place it on a platter. Repeat with the other artichoke.
Chop reserved artichoke hearts and stems and add them to blender with hummus, and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
Carefully fill reserved artichoke (which should still be intact) with the hummus. Sprinkle with the minced chives (if using) and a pinch of smoked paprika. Use the artichoke leaves as dippers and enjoy! Serve with carrots, radishes, asparagus and other fresh seasonal veggies.
*Note: You will want the artichoke heart and stem to be slightly firm so that you can remove it in one piece while keeping the remaining artichoke intact. Cooking time can vary based on the size of your artichokes, so just keep an eye on them after the 20 minute mark.