Heart of Gold

By • May 5, 2010 31 Comments

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Author Notes: Once, I spent a couple of hours watching Marcella Hazan fix an artichoke dish from her newest cookbook (at that time) An entire room full of students hyptnotically watched her peel the leaves off an artichoke one by one until she had a pile next to her. We were all wondering the same thing. Finally, someone asked "What are you going to do with those?" She looked puzzled for a few seconds and then announced that she was going to throw them away..."What would I do with them?" Now I understand that the artichoke heart was all she needed. If you have a fresh, just picked artichoke , the heart is pure gold! - dymnynodymnyno

Food52 Review: This is a simple recipe that really showcases the best part of the artichoke: the heart. As dymnyno notes, the fresher the artichoke the better. You get rid of all of the leaves (don't despair, it's worth it!), gently steam the artichoke hearts until just tender and then coat them in egg and panko before crisping them in a shallow pool of olive oil. The richness of the crust and the slight bitterness of the artichoke are offset by the bright, aromatic lime and cumin dipping sauce. Make sure to serve these warm, while they're still nice and crisp. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4 artichoke halves

Artichoke Hearts

  • 2 globe artichokes, preferable with some stalk.
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  1. Prepare the artichokes: Peel all the leaves off the choke. Peel the stalk and with a paring knife neatly trim the bottom where you removed the leaves.
  2. Cut the trimmed artichokes in half vertically and with a spoon remove the hairy choke. Be careful when cutting in half to evenly cut the stem, too.
  3. Rub immediately with lemon juice so the artichoke doesn't get brown (which happens very quickly!). Steam the hearts until tender. Time will vary depending on the size of the hearts (about 15 minutes).
  4. Dip each artichoke half into the egg and then into the bread crumbs.
  5. Fry in the olive oil over medium heat until golden.
  6. Set on paper towels to absorb the oil.

Creamy Cumin-Lime Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • finely grated zest of a lime
  • juice of a lime
  • Salt
  1. Mix all the ingredients together, adding salt to taste.
  2. Serve the golden hearts warm with the creamy dipping sauce.

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