Braised Spring Artichokes


One of the first things I planned to do once we returned to Umbria this spring was to hit the local markets and buy fresh artichokes, so on Monday, although still recovering from jet lag, we got up bright and early drove to the Marsciano market and bought a dozen fresh spring chokes. I love artichokes just about any way you could possibly prepare them, but my favorite method is to simply braise them until they are meltingly tender. I love to serve artichokes this way on an antipasto platter with other vegetables, or simply on their own as a first course followed by a pasta dish for a casual family dinner at home.

My artichokes were fairly small and very fresh so I did not cut them in half and remove the inner spiny choke. If yours are larger, or you are not certain of their freshness, simply cut in half and scoop out the choke.

Ode To The Perfect Artichoke

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Braised Spring Artichokes

Small spring artichokes are so tasty, they are best prepared with simply braising them as in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced
  • 4 Medium Artichokes, Trimmed
  • 1 1/4 Cups Dry White Wine
  • Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
  • Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley or Mint

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, and then add the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
  2. Next add the artichokes and stir to coat in the oil.
  3. Add the wine, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the chokes are fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Add the fresh chopped parsley or mint and toss.
  5. Transfer the artichokes to a serving platter.
  6. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil and reduce by half.
  7. Drizzle over the chokes and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.