Before I tell you about these braised artichokes, let me tell you that the artichoke, as far as I am concerned, trumps most vegetables. I love it for its earthy, sweet flavor; I love it cooked or shaved raw into a simple salad of arugula, Parmesan, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Don’t be wary of artichokes because you’re afraid they will be too complicated to cook. This dish showcases a great method for cooking and eating them. While they certainly are not the easiest vegetable to prepare, once they hit season in the spring, artichokes are a definite go-to vegetable for me.–Jason Roberts
LC All-Consuming Artichoke Love Note
Ever notice how folks who are drawn to the rather green and vegetal taste of artichokes—whether braised artichokes or any manner of artichoke incarnations—are rarely casual about the topic? Actually, to be quite frank, they tend to be downright evangelical, preaching proper trimming tactics and spewing an elaborate array of adjectives to explain the taste and texture of their most memorable artichoke experience. Well, this braised artichokes recipe just may have turned us into one of them. God love ’em.
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H
- Serves 4
- 8 medium artichokes (not large and not small)
- 2 smallish lemons, preferably organic, cut in half
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup whole raw or blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1. Trim and discard the outer leaves and the fibrous stems from the artichokes. If desired, peel away enough of the remaining inner leaves to reveal the pale yellow leaves toward the heart of the artichoke. Also if desired, you can trim the ends of the stems and peel the stems to reveal their pale flesh.
- 2. Grab a small knife and cut about 2/3 from the top of each artichoke and remove the hairy-looking choke with a small spoon or melon baller. Rub each artichoke with a halved lemon and then place the artichokes in a pot filled with cold water and the juice of the other lemon (the lemon prevents the artichokes from browning).
- 3. When all the artichokes are prepared, pour off the lemon water and cover the artichokes with enough fresh cold water to submerge them. Add enough sea salt so the water tastes salty. (For every 4 cups water there should be a good teaspoon salt.) Toss in 1/2 cup olive oil, the coriander seeds, and the peppercorns, cover the pot with parchment paper and bring the liquid to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook until the artichokes are tender, another 8 to 10 minutes if you trimmed all the outer leaves or, if you left most of the leaves intact, another 40 or so minutes. The best way to test for doneness is by pushing a paring knife or skewer into the thickest part of the artichoke to test for resistance; the artichoke should be tender but with a slight firmness because it will continue to cook a little as it cools in the liquid. Remove the pot of braised artichokes from the heat and let cool slightly. Drain the artichokes, reserving the cooking liquid for soup, if desired.
- 4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon cooking liquid from the artichokes. Season the dressing with a little salt and pepper to taste, then add the almonds and chopped parsley and mix well.
- 5. Drizzle or drench the braised artichokes with the lemon vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.