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Author Notes: Artichokes packed in oil are tasty and have an extended shelf/fridge life due to the preserving qualities of both vinegar and oil. Serve as an appetizer/antipasto. An Italian classic! Note: volume of vinegar just has to be enough to cover artichoke hearts in the pan, and volume of oil has to be enough to top off the final containers (both vinegar & oil can be strained and used in other dishes). Note #2: many recipes for carciofi sott'olio call for heating the olive oil; I prefer not to do this as it disrupts delicate flavors and shelf life. I also prefer not to mix the oil and vinegar. Recipe adapted from a friend in Italy. —Rebecca Vitale
Makes as many as you have
- bowl of acidulated water (lemon juice, citric acid powder, etc)
- a few cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- big pinch salt
- wine vinegar (white or other)
- 1 cup wine (white or other)
- several garlic cloves, sliced
- small handful whole black peppercorns
- extra virgin olive oil
- Pare whatever artichokes you have; six regular-sized artichokes is a reasonable number. (I buy externally blemished artichokes for cheap so I can do more at once.) I like to keep basically only the heart, but pare however you like. As you work, leave the pared hearts in the bowl of acidulated water.
- Bring vinegar (enough to cover pared volume), cloves, bay leaf, salt, and a cup or so of wine in a pan and bring to a boil. Transfer artichokes from acidulated water to boiling mixture. Return to boil, then reduce and simmer 5 minutes (just until a knife tip goes into an artichoke without resistance). Turn off heat and let artichokes absorb while they cool down completely in the liquid.
- Turn contents into a strainer and let drip dry overnight.
- Sterilize/prepare containers as desired. Cut the artichoke into pieces. Alternate layers of artichoke with some of the garlic and peppercorns until each container is nearly full. Pour in olive oil until 1/2" from the top, seal, and place in a cool, dry place.
- Ready to eat immediately, but flavor will mature after a month or so. Consume within a few months.