Although in the US artichokes are a spring vegetable in season for just a short time, in Israel they were everywhere by February. Big, beautiful artichokes everywhere. And the best part is, they're still around! They are starting to get smaller, but are no less gorgeous and tasty.
This is one of my favorite ways to prepare artichokes. Besides the trimming, the recipe actually comes together quite quickly. After they’ve simmered, covered, for about half an hour the entire artichoke, including the stem, is tender enough to eat and has absorbed all the delicious flavor from the simmering liquid. It is absolutely divine. A friend of mine even said that she never trims her artichokes and just doesn't eat the ends. Do whatever works for you.
Great as a starter, side dish, or even a meal all its own, this recipe is almost fool proof. Should you have leftover artichokes (two is plenty for two people as a side), I removed the leaves, breaded and fried them, and served them with homemade mayo. —kmartinelli
cloves garlic, chopped
heaping tablespoons chopped parsley
Juice of ½ lemon (plus more for preventing discoloration)
Turn artichokes: Pull back an outer leaf until it naturally cracks and, using a sharp paring knife, cut at this point. Continue doing this to all the outer leaves, turning as you go, until you get almost to the middle. Slice off the entire top third of the artichoke. Peel the stem and immediately put the artichoke in a big bowl of water with a bit of lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Repeat with the remaining three artichokes.
Put the artichokes in a pot large enough to hold them and put a lid on, but small enough that they are close together and able to stand. Add the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until artichokes are tender.
Serve whole as a side dish (I had it as an accompaniment to Risotto alla Milanese with grilled chicken) or in a bowl with some of the broth and crusty bread as a starter.
A native New Yorker, I recently moved to Be'er Sheva, Israel with my husband while he completes medical school. I am a freelance food and travel writer and photographer who is always hungry and reads cookbooks in bed.