Roasting fresh artichokes in a covered dish steams them to tenderness while concentrating their flavor.
Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Vinaigrette
SERVES 4 VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS A staple of both Greek and Italian cuisines, delicately nutty artichokes need little adornment. We decided to try roasting them to concentrate their flavor. We prepped the artichokes for the oven by trimming the leaves, halving the artichokes, and removing the fuzzy chokes. Submerging the prepped artichokes in water and lemon juice kept them from oxidizing. Because they have so much surface area, artichokes can quickly dry out and toughen in the oven, so we covered them with aluminum foil to let them steam in their own juice. This simple step tenderized the artichokes from leaves to heart. Tossing the artichokes with oil and roasting them cut side down encouraged flavorful browning. The fresh tang of citrus pairs well with artichokes’ earthy flavor, so we roasted some halved lemons alongside the artichokes and used the deeply flavorful juice in a vinaigrette. We whisked the juice with grated garlic and Dijon before drizzling in and emulsifying some olive oil to create a bright, intense dressing. If your artichokes are larger than 8 to 10 ounces, strip away another layer or two of the toughest outer leaves. The tender inner leaves, heart, and stem are entirely edible. To eat the tough outer leaves, use your teeth to scrape the flesh from the underside of each leaf. A rasp-style grater makes quick work of turning the garlic into a paste. These artichokes taste great warm or at room temperature.
4 artichokes (8 to 10 ounces each)
9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
½ teaspoon garlic, minced to paste
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Cut 1 lemon in half, squeeze halves into container filled with 2 quarts water, then add spent halves.
2. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, trim stem to about ¾ inch and cut off top quarter of artichoke. Break off bottom 3 or 4 rows of tough outer leaves by pulling them downward. Using paring knife, trim outer layer of stem and base, removing any dark green parts. Cut artichoke in half lengthwise, then remove fuzzy choke and any tiny inner purple-tinged leaves using small spoon. Submerge prepped artichokes in lemon water.
3. Coat bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Remove artichokes from lemon water and shake off water, leaving some water
still clinging to leaves. Toss artichokes with 2 tablespoons oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and pinch pepper; gently rub oil and seasonings between leaves. Arrange artichokes cut side down in prepared dish. Trim ends off remaining 2 lemons, halve crosswise, and arrange cut side up next to artichokes. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast until cut sides of artichokes begin to brown and bases and leaves are tender when poked with tip of paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Transfer artichokes to serving platter. Let lemons cool slightly, then squeeze into fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, extracting as much juice and pulp as possible; press firmly on solids to yield 1½ tablespoons juice. Whisk garlic, mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt into juice. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining 6 tablespoons oil until emulsified. Whisk in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve artichokes with dressing.
Making Roasted Artichokes
1.PREP Trim artichokes, cut in half, and remove fuzzy chokes. Submerge prepped artichokes in prepared lemon water.
2.SEASON Remove artichokes from lemon water, leaving some water clinging to leaves. Toss with oil, salt, and pepper and arrange in dish.
3.ROAST Trim and halve lemons and place in dish with artichokes. Cover with foil and roast until artichokes begin to brown and are tender.
4.ROAST Trim and halve lemons and place in dish with artichokes. Cover with foil and roast until artichokes begin to brown and are tender.
Braised Artichokes with Tomatoes and Thyme
SERVES 4 to 6
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS We wanted to use fresh whole artichokes to create an everyday side that would keep the focus on these seasonal gems. Gently braising the artichokes to perfect tenderness seemed to fit the bill—and we decided to create a rich, flavorful sauce at the same time. To avoid drab-looking, flat-tasting, and fibrous artichokes, we trimmed them so that only their most tender inner leaves remained. A braising liquid of white wine and chicken broth imparted acidity and depth of flavor. Subtle and earthy thyme complemented the artichokes’ delicate flavor, and anchovies amplified the savory qualities of the dish. Canned tomatoes are common in braises, but when we used them, tasters detected an unpleasant metallic note; replacing them with halved cherry tomatoes at the end of cooking preserved the brightness of the sauce and added welcome splashes of color. If your artichokes are larger than 8 to 10 ounces, strip away another layer or two of the toughest outer leaves.
4 artichokes (8 to 10 ounces each)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Cut lemon in half, squeeze halves into container filled with 2 quarts water, then add spent halves. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, trim stem to about ¾ inch and cut off top quarter of artichoke. Break off bottom 3 or 4 rows of tough outer leaves by pulling them downward. Using paring knife, trim outer layer of stem and base, removing any dark green parts. Cut artichoke in half lengthwise, remove fuzzy choke and any tiny inner purple-tinged leaves using small spoon, then cut each half into 1-inch-thick wedges. Submerge prepped artichokes in lemon water.
2. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, anchovies, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in broth and bring to simmer.
3. Remove artichokes from lemon water, shaking off excess water, and add to skillet. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until artichokes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Stir in tomatoes, bring to simmer, and cook until tomatoes start to break down, 3 to 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.