So…..how the heck is everyone doing out there? Hopefully everyone is weathering this crazy storm with a shred of sanity. I find myself oscillating between #wegotthis (woohoo!) and #getmeoutofherenow (like RIGHT THIS MINUTE); #Ilovecooking (Yay, let’s tackle a market run this morning!) and #Ihatecooking (french fries for dinner); #Ilovecleaning and….wait, those words have never ever been uttered from my lips.
I have been trying to stay positive and look for small gratitudes and silver linings. (And boy at times, this fails miserably.) Are you finding any positives in all this craziness? For me, my list would be: I have learned to use my eyes to smile wide; I have learned to be better at big batch cooking (we have a small group taking turns making meals for a number of families in the area); I have learned that my yoga mat brings me great peace but my Peloton lets me ride like hell to get out all those frustrations (go #boocrew, go #lovesquad) and above all else, that my kitchen is my heart, my place of refuge, my place of comfort. (And maybe a
little lot of wine too.)
Ok enough about me – please let me know how you are all are doing. I would love to know. #staysafe #loveyou
On to the recipe at hand, artichokes! I do think this is my favorite way to make artichokes. The acidity of the wine and lemon against the creaminess of the artichoke is heavenly. I also love the prep for this recipe as you do not have to remove the center choke until after the artichokes are braised and sliced in half – just makes it all a bit easier to clean up these beauties.
Other than a bit of prep, this is a very simple recipe. I usually serve these as part of an antipasto or first course; although they make a great meal served with a green salad and crisp white wine. Enjoy!
Please #staysafe out there – I am very much looking forward to the day when we can share a meal at my table again.
Braised Artichokes with White Wine and Garlic
These are my absolute favorite way to serve artichokes. They are easy to prep and can be served warm or room temperature. Serve them either as part of an antipasto or as a light lunch accompanied by a crisp green salad and of course, a crisp dry white wine alongside.
4 medium artichokes
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups dry white wine
1 bay leaf
Zest and juice from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon butter
Extra-virgin olive oil (for serving)
Sea salt (for serving)
A few springs of parsley, chopped (for serving)
Fill a big bowl with cold water. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl. The acidity from the juice keeps the artichokes from turning brown. Toss all but one of the squeezed lemon halves into the bowl of water. Keep the lemon half nearby.
Trim the stems of the artichokes to about an inch from the base so the artichoke will sit flat on the stem when in the bottom of the pan. It the stems are very thick, use a paring knife to trim off the outer tough exterior of the stem.
Next, remove the tough outer leaves until you get to the softer paler leaves.
Cut about an inch off the top portion of the artichoke to remove the rough, sharp tips.
Using a scissor, cut off any sharp tips that remain.
Rub any cut surfaces of the artichoke with the reserved squeezed lemon half (a little extra protection from turning brown). Put the artichoke into the lemon water.
Ready to go! When ready to cook, remove them from the lemon water.
Grab a heavy bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, that is large enough to accommodate all the artichokes. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot and heat over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the white wine, bay leaf, lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. (Wait to season the liquid until after reduced or it may be too salty.) Then turn heat to low and keep at a simmer.
Place the artichokes, stem side down, nestled next to each other, in the pot. Cover and simmer until the artichokes and stems are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the artichokes.
Remove the artichokes from the poaching liquid. Reserve the liquid. When cool enough to handle, cut the artichokes in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon or small knife, clean/cut out the fuzzy choke in the center and discard.
Meanwhile, bring the poaching liquid to boil over medium heat and boil until reduced to half – about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the artichokes cut side down and sauté until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the artichokes to a platter. Drizzle with the reduced poaching liquid, a little extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Sounds like a lovely way to enjoy artichokes! Reminds me (vaguely) of carciofi alla romana actually, which is my favorite (or perhaps second favorite) way to eat artichokes.
One sliver lining to this craziness is that more people in our neighborhood are getting out and taking a walk around the neighborhood rather than just driving around in their cars. I’m meeting neighbors I never knew I had, including someone who coincidently works in my office!
Hi Frank – Hope you are hanging in there and doing well! Great to hear neighbors are out walking – at least the earth has had time to breathe a bit. I love seeing all the photos of smogless cities and clear waterways. Stay safe and stai bene….Michele
Having only eaten artichoke the American old-fashioned way, leaf by leaf till you get to the choke, I’m at a loss as how to eat these. Knife and fork? They’re done to the point of being browned and on platter; reduced sauce looks too greasy to put on and serve at room temp in a few hours. Help, please.
Hi Elizabeth – Same way – I eat them leaf by leaf until I get to the heart then use a knife and fork. Sauce doesn’t have much oil as it it the poaching liquid mostly – just reduced – so very tasty as well! Hope that helps xo Michele