Golden Brown Artichokes Braised in White Wine

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Although I do love everything about being back in Umbria, one of the things I was looking forward to most upon our return was our weekly (often daily) market visits so I could buy my favorite vegetable, the artichoke. The artichoke season is far too short, and everyone has been telling me to buy all the artichokes I want now because the season is ending in a week or two. Not only have I been buying artichokes right and left at every market we visit, but the artichoke plants we added a few years ago to our garden are really starting to yield some amazing artichokes as well.

I could eat artichokes just about any way you could prepare them and enjoy them, but I presently prefer them slowly braised in white wine. I clean the artichokes, then cut them in half and brown them really well in some of our own olive oil which I find really brings out the flavor. I then add garlic and white wine, cover with a lid and cook until tender. The wine evaporates and thickens as the chokes braise, lightly coating them almost in a sauce. All the chokes need before serving is some salt and pepper, and a toss in some chopped fresh mint or parsley, though I’d never say no to an extra  drizzle of really good olive oil. I honestly could eat these every day and not tire of them, and this is Italian cooking as simple as it can be. Use just a few fresh ingredients, and cook them just to enhance the natural flavors. You may not be able to brown the chokes in one batch, so divide them into two to get them nice and brown, then put them all back into the skillet or pot to braise.

If you are not sure about cleaning fresh artichokes, and I do realize they can look intimidating until you’ve done it yourself for the first time, I posted How To Clean An Artichoke Step by Step a while back that you may find useful. I prefer almost all my vegetables served at room temperature as I feel the flavor is really enhanced, but the choice is up to you to serve them hot right out of the pan or not.

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Artichokes Growing In Our Garden

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Artichokes Growing In Our Garden

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2013

Golden Brown Artichokes Braised in White Wine

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 8 to 10 Medium Artichokes, Cleaned & Cut In Half
  • 4 Garlic cloves, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Mint or Parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet or wide bottomed pot, then brown the artichokes on all side over medium heat until golden brown, about 8 minutes, (Do this in two batches if needed)
  2. Add the garlic and mix with the artichokes and cook another minute or two until fragrant.
  3. Add a cup of the wine, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until fork tender. If the wine evaporates too much, add the remaining half cup.
  4. Season the artichokes with salt and pepper, then toss with the fresh parsley or mint and serve.