While popular all over the Mediterranean, artichokes don’t get as much love as they should in the American diet. This recipe is a perfect example of the versatility and heartiness of artichokes. They are easy to throw into any dish and easily add a sophisticated vibe. Their distinctly sweet taste works well with many different flavor profiles. Best of all, they support your body’s cleansing systems.
Canned artichokes are a wonderful option, but nothing beats a fresh artichoke. If you’ve never worked with artichokes, you may feel a little intimidated by their alien-like appearance. But trust that those spiky outer leaves hold a treasure inside.
How to clean a fresh artichoke
To clean a fresh artichoke, your first order of business is to remove the sharp top of the leaves. You can do this by snipping them with kitchen shears or make quick work of it by slicing about 1 inch from the top with a serrated knife.
Next, you’ll remove the tough outer leaves. This will expose most of the stem. As you work your way into the artichoke, you’ll notice that the consistency of the leaves change from tough to tender and the color changes from green to yellow. Discard the tough outer leaves until you reach the tender, yellow center.
Finally, you’ll cut the remaining artichoke in half from top to bottom and scoop out the inner chokes. These chokes are easily identified by their fuzzy appearance. A simple tablespoon should be an effective tool to remove all of the chokes and discard them.
Now you’re down to the edible portion of your artichoke.You’ll want to quickly rub the artichoke with lemon juice all over. Then submerge them in a combination of lemon juice and water. Much like apples, the artichokes will discolor when exposed to air, but the lemon helps to keep them looking fresh.
Once you’ve prepped an artichoke a few times, it easily becomes second nature and you’ll find yourself throwing artichokes into just about everything.
Yields 8 servings
6 Tbsp olive oil
8 whole artichokes
2 lemons, juiced
10 shallots, peeled
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
coarse sea salt to taste
Clean artichokes (See tips above).
Rub artichokes with half of lemon juice. In a large bowl, combine remaining lemon juice and enough water to submerge artichokes in lemon mixture. Submerge artichokes and set aside.
In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add whole shallots. Cook 5-6 minutes, until shallots begin to get soft.
Add artichokes, 1 1/4 cup water, cracked pepper, and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour, until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced.
Serve warm. This is great served with fava beans and dill!