Each year at the end of April beautiful plump fresh artichokes hit the markets and my heart skips a beat as I eagerly load my basket with globes of this vibrant green thistle vegetable. My favorite artichoke recipe is one that I make only once or twice a year, first, because the season is so short here in the northeast and two, because it can be a bit time consuming. So for the third time that had I arrived home with close to a dozen artichokes this year I sought a simpler recipe.
Oven braised artichokes saved the day as the preparations required only cleaning of the artichokes and to toss all ingredients onto a baking sheet. After stripping off the tough outer leaves, and chopping off the thorny tips, the artichoke halves steam in an aromatic broth of lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and white wine. The results are delicious served warm or chilled, and even better when served with a crisp sauvignon blanc.
If you are intimidated by cleaning artichokes Magic Spice has created an excellent tutorial aptly titled Taming the Artichoke.
Oven Braised Artichokes with Garlic and Thyme
From Gourmande in the Kitchen
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Peel from one of the lemons
- ¼ cup good quality white wine or water
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 small garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
- 4 large artichokes
- 2 Tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a large roasting pan, combine all the ingredients except the artichokes.
- Pull off and discard the thick outer leaves of the artichokes by bending them back and pulling them down toward the stem. Remove leaves that are dark green, but do not remove leaves that are green at the top and yellow on the bottom.
- Snip or chop off the tops of the leaves at the point where the green and yellow come together and trim around the base of the artichoke heart to smooth the sides and peel the stem.
- Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the fuzzy choke with a small spoon. As each artichoke heart half is completed, add to the pan with the braising liquid, turning them to coat completely and prevent browning.
- Cover the pan with a lid or parchment lined aluminum foil and cook until the hearts are tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, uncover, and let the artichokes cool in the braising liquid.
- Garnish with a chopped parsley, serve warm, or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Artichoke Hearts Sauteed in Lemon Parsley Sauce
Artichoke Hearts with Sun-dried Tomatoes Pasta