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.