This recipe is no more complicated than making an omelette. It really is. And after you cook fresh artichokes from scratch, you will feel really good about yourself! Fresh cooked artichokes are at their best when warm and that they soak whatever they are in. In this recipe the artichokes are gently cooked and packed with flavor, with a balance of salt, sweetness and brightness, with soft (but not mushy) texture, and with a crunch.
• Fresh artichokes can be found all year round but they are at their best between March and May.
• An artichoke is fresh when it is heavy for it size and the outer leaves are green/purple and firm. To test, squeeze the artichoke and listen for the squeaky sound. The stem should be firm and green when the tip is trimmed.
• Artichoke leaves have small spikes at each end. Be careful when handling. Trim any remaining spikes before cooking using kitchen scissors.
• Don’t attempt to eat the choke, it has its name for a reason!
• Artichokes oxidize really quickly, cut them just as ready to use. Once cut, place artichokes immediately cut side down in a bowl of lemon water.
• Store fresh artichokes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about 3 days. —Iglika Petrova/Sprig of Thyme
- Prep time 30 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- Serves 4 (side dish, appetizer, lunch)
Artichokes (medium sized)
Garlic cloves, peeled
Parsley (fresh), chopped
Raw walnuts, finely chopped
- Juice the first lemon and zest 1/2 of it. Place the zest in a bowl, cover and set aside. Pour the juice in a large pot with 1/2 cup of water and the wine. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, trim the dark end of the stem and peel 3-4 layers of the outer tough leaves. Trim about 1 inch from the top and peel the fibrous green stem and leaf ends using a vegetable peeler. Halve the artichoke lengthwise and scoop the choke with a spoon. Place each cleaned half cut side down in the pot with the lemon/wine mixture.
- Add 3 of the garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp of salt to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes turning artichokes half-way through. The artichokes are done when a knife tip is inserted to the heart and the flesh is as soft as a cooked potato.
- Meanwhile, make the remaining garlic clove into a paste and place in the bowl with the lemon zest. Add parsley, dill, the juice of the remaining lemon, 2 tbls olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Place the artichokes on a large plate and spoon about 1 tsp of the marinade on each one, making sure that some of the marinade gets in between the leaves. Let them cool for 10 min.
- Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy bottom or cast iron skillet. Add the artichoke halves cut side down and lower heat to a medium-high. Cook until golden brown, for about 1 minute, turn the artichokes and cook for additional 30 seconds. Transfer the artichokes to a large plate. Add the walnuts to the marinade, mix well and spoon about half of the mixture over the artichokes. Serve while still warm with a side of the remaining marinade.