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Author Notes: Artichokes are one of my all-time favorite ingredients. When I saw beautiful purple baby artichokes in the market on Sunday I knew I had to buy them! So I braised them with some white wine and finished some bulgar wheat in the pan juices. A perfect take-along lunch: good at room temperature, healthy, but with enough heft that I won't be starving come 4pm. —JORJ
- 8 baby artichokes
- 1.5 lemon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 salted anchovies, rinsed
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup white wine (I used a Gruner Veltliner, but any dry white will be good))
- crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup bulgar wheat
- 1 bunch chives, chopped
- Prep the artichokes by cutting off the top part, peeling off the tough outer leaves, trimming and peeling the stem, cutting them in quarters, and cutting out the chokes if they are spiky. Put them in a bath of acidulated, cold water (i.e., squeeze one lemon into the cold water) while you finish the prep.
- Chop up the onion and the garlic while you heat up the oil in a small pan -- I like to a straight-sided saute pan. Add the onion and the anchovies to the pan and saute till the onions are translucent and the anchovies have broken down. Pull the artichokes from their lemony water bath and add them to the pan. Add the minced garlic, a pinch of salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and toss the ingredients to combine.
- Add the white wine to the pan, adjust the heat to low and cover the pan to braise the artichokes for about 20-30 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure that they haven't dried out (add some water if so) and testing after 20 minutes to see if the artichokes are tender.
- Meanwhile, make the bulgar wheat. In a large heat-proof bowl, put the bulgar wheat and add a cup of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Mix them together and let them sit while the artichokes braise.
- Chop up the chives (I think parsley would be good here too).
- When the artichokes seem tender, add the bulgar wheat, along with any of the unabsorbed water to the pan. Stir to combine. Cover again for five minutes.
- Add the chopped chives and taste for seasoning. Serve with wedges of lemon.