artichokes-braised-in-lemon-and-olive-oil Recipes

artichokes braised in lemon and olive oil

Given that I can say, without pausing or so much as batting an eyelash, that artichokes are my favorite food on earth, it’s kind of a bummer that they’re so woefully underrepresented here. Sure, there are Artichoke Ravioli, a quick Potato and Artichoke Tortilla, a a scooped heart filled with fresh cranberry beans, a gratin and some crostini in which they play a supporting role, but when you love them as much as I do, this is not enough. Nothing ever is.

busted artichokes

Artichoke season can’t come soon enough for people like me, even if the best we usually get are cross-country, battered and overpriced visitors. It is never enough to deter me, and neither were these downright busted looking ones I saw at the store yesterday for a reduced price. I pounced on them, as even with shoddy leaves, their hearts are in the right place, that is, center and endlessly delicious.

sauteeing shallots, garlic and carrotsartichokes in their braisescooping out the chokebrowning the artichokes

I had the misfortune to find this braised artichoke recipe in the November 2008 issue of Gourmet, misfortune not because I had any doubt it would be the most delicious thing in the entire world, but because although I am never going to be the poster child for the eating local movement with my cross-country artichokes in March, November is just not a time to find decent ones in New York City (although I hear the west coast gets a bumper crop in October — lucky!).

The wait nearly killed me, but I’m pleased to say that it paid off. Look, there’s nothing quick about prepping whole artichokes — just getting them down to their delicious hearts takes some time, and multiplied by eight, sheesh. But it’s so worth it. There is no comparison in the flavor of fresh ‘chokes to frozen or canned ones — they may as well be different vegetables. And although the process can be intimidating, once you get it down — and I hope these photos help — you’ll wonder what took you so long to try them.

step 1: trim the topstep 2: peel leaves down to pale yellowstep 3: trim leaves down to heartstep 4: trim leaf ends down to basestep 5: peel stem and sidesstep 6: voila! an artichoke heart

One year ago: Vegetarian Cassoulet
Two years ago: Mixed Berry Pavlova [Perfect for Passover!]

Artichokes Braised in Lemon and Olive Oil
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2008

I have no doubt that this method of cooking artichokes — braising them in a flavorful liquid and then browning them — could be adapted with many different flavorings, so have fun with it and don’t worry about being too literal. I bet a few glugs of white wine, some thyme sprigs, maybe a few of those giant cerignola olives and/or even some favas or white beans could be delicious in here. We ended up chopping ours over pasta with parmesan shavings for dinner, but they were equally delicious the next day with no extras at all.

Makes 8 first course or side dish servings

1 lemon, halved
8 medium artichokes
3 small shallots, sliced into thin rings
1 carrot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups water
3 strips lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Trim artichokes into hearts [See photo collage, above]: Add lemon halves to a large bowl of cold water, squeezing to release juice. Cut off top inch of 1 artichoke [1] and bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base (keep stem attached). Discard several more layers in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves.[2] Cut remaining leaves flush with top of artichoke bottom using a sharp knife. [3] Trim dark green fibrous parts from base and sides of artichoke.[4] Peel sides of stem down to pale inner core. [5] Put in lemon water while preparing remaining artichokes.

Prepare braise: Cook shallots, carrot, garlic, and seeds in 1/4 cup oil in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot (pot should be wide enough to hold artichokes in 1 layer with stems pointing upward) over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add water, zest, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Stand artichokes in pot and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover artichokes with wax paper, then a lid, and simmer over medium-low heat until bases are just tender when pierced with a knife, 20 to 30 minutes.

Transfer artichokes to a dish and reserve cooking liquid. When artichokes are cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise. Scoop out and discard inner choke (fuzzy center and any sharp leaves).

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown cut sides of artichokes in 2 batches, about 2 minutes per batch, transferring to a serving dish. Add reserved cooking liquid to skillet along with remaining tablespoon lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Boil vigorously 3 minutes, then stir in parsley and pour over artichokes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Do ahead: Artichokes can be braised 1 day ahead and chilled in cooking liquid. Reheat to warm before proceeding.

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119 comments on artichokes braised in lemon and olive oil

  1. k_darling

    These were Thanksgiving dinner in our house (certainly the most time-consuming part of it) and now you’ve made me want to put up with all the fuss just to make them again. Thanks.

  2. I have always been intimidated by fresh artichokes: many thanks for the visual! Mere “instructions” in cookbooks have never given me enough confidence to actually try wrestling them myself: the pics may do the trick!

  3. cs

    I just love artichokes. I could never throw away so many good leaves. My favorite ways are steamed whole or cut in half and boiled with a wedge of lemon a splash of oilve oil and maybe a bay leaf. My Italian grandmother taught me how to eat them when I was a kid. She ate any outter leaves that were not too tough–scraping the meat off the bottom of the leaf. She even at the choke– fuzzy stuff and pointed leaves. I never knew one could throw away so much of the artichoke as most recipes entail. But, hey, the heart and stem are the best part.Just a thought for when you don’t feel like making the production and want to get your money’s worth:-).

  4. Fusilli Amy

    I was just saying how I wanted to try my hand at fresh artichokes. And, poof! Here they are. The pictures are really going to help! Ah, Spring…finally!

  5. Ooh, these look so delicious. I can’t wait until artichokes start appearing in our organic box. They’re such a faff to prepare, but every time I take the time to do it I remember just how worth it they are.

  6. I’m with you on the love-fest with artichokes!

    Out here in the SF Bay Area, very close to artichoke country, those artichokes with scaley, brown spots on the outer leaves are called “Frost Kissed”. Only the outer leaves get damaged by the infrequent (and really not so severe) frosts. So, the artichokes may be less perfectly beautiful, but they still taste beautifully perfect.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  7. Katie M.

    This looks delish as always. When I was little my dad convinced me I didn’t like artichokes so he could have them all to himself. Recently my boyfriend reintroduced me to them. Amazingly yummy. cs- you mean not everyone eats the leaves??? I never realized that. My favorite way is boiled until the leaves pull off easily then dipped in butter and scraping the leaves with my teeth… I’ve never had one last long enough in my house to actually use in a recipe though. :-)

  8. cs

    Katie M,
    What I mean is that I grew up eating the bottoms of the green leaves–as you describe with your teeth. In this recipe, “Discard several more layers in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves” —only the hearts and stems are eaten. For those looking to get the whole experience– as you describe boiling them works. It’s easy and thrifty. Personally, if I steam them whole I dip in butter. If I boil in water with olive oil and some seasoning I cut them in half…then they don’t need butter. No tossing out leaves or scraping out the choke. It’s fun to go thru the leaves and find out how tender each layer is and how much more you can eat as they soften up toward the middle. Yes, I discard a few dark, dried up leaves on the very outter portion but from then on…yum. Oh, and stuffed with breadcrumbs are good.

  9. Elizabeth

    One of my favorite artichoke recipes is from Caprial Pence. Steamed, marinated and then grilled. YUM! But, between you, Ina, Martha and oh Michael Chiarello, all stripping them down and braising them, well, and I am going to have to give this a try.

  10. CarlyM

    Oh this looks wonderful. Artichokes are my favorite too – I once packed an entire carry-on full of them fresh from the farm in CA home to VA.

  11. I agree, canned artichokes are a waste of money and time. Even frozen don’t so them justice. I LOVE artichokes but it is a pain to discard all the tasty leaves (you throw them away? no attempt to cook ’em and eat ’em?) and for $3 each! (that’s usually the price here on the west coast). I usually cook them in water with lemon juice, cloves of garlic, whole pepper, thyme, and salt. I never thought of the next step of browning them. Good idea. Will try it next time.

  12. I love artichokes! But as you say, it’s quite a hassle to get the yummy hearts out properly (biting on a hard bit really spoils the pleasure for me…), so I rarely make them on my own… This way of preparing them sounds so irresistibly delicious, though, that I’m really inspired to give it a try!

  13. These artichokes are making me swoon. But I agree, I have a hard time throwing out so much of the poor veggie. silly, i know, but it always seems like such a waste, even if those parts are inedible. I think this recipe might be cause to bite the bullet and get right to the heart of things :) my mouth is positively watering….

  14. i had that recipe marked in November but didn’t make it – for some reason.. Artichokes are good in the spring, no? This might be the perfect time to make them!!

  15. I’m just curious, I see in your pictures that you kept the stem (even your directions said to do so) and is that because you think it’s pretty or because the stem is in some way part of the heart and you can eat it? Did you eat it? Or did you just leave it on for looks?

  16. Janet

    Celeste,

    Artichoke stems are the best kept secret of the vegetable world! They taste just like artichoke hearts without the choke.

  17. Ruby

    Do you think we could steam the leaves once broken off the uncooked central heart, and still dip them in butter? Would they break off the raw heart with enough meat on them? I’m too thrifty to throw out those beautiful leaves too but this dish looks like a great one for Easter brunch!

  18. Laura

    This recipe looks amazing, but how can you just throw away the leaves! they make for some good eating as well! (plus are a wonderful excuse to make garlic butter!) Although I guess you could always boil them whole, eat the leaves then braise the hearts…

  19. Aretichokes melt my heart and make me weak at the knees. Just like figs, their season is so painfully short and they are shamefully unpopular here… so hard to find! When you do find them, they are puny and offensively over-priced! This dish looks amazing! Thanks Deb!

  20. Mary

    I was thinking the same thing as Ruby and Laura. I would SO eat the leaves too. As the world’s laziest cook, I was thinking also that I could make a knock-off with the canned artichoke bottoms. Not as good, surely, but better than a lot of things in a pinch. Local restaurants know that they can always get me with artichokes on the menu, prepared in any way they please!

  21. I couldn’t wait for the good ones either – all of the cross-country ones are going on sale now and it seems I screw localism when there’s a sale on artichokes.

    Love the combination of flavors in there. Fennel seems made for artichokes.

  22. Nancy from PA

    Yum….I love artichokes. I must be living right…I have some beautiful Castellana Strascinati Primavera pasta in my pantry at the moment and Wegmans has baby artichokes! I wonder how the small chokes would perform in the recipe? It’s obvious they wouldn’t need to be cooked as long as the larger variety, but do you think they’d lose out in the flavor department as a result? They’re supposed to be mature artichokes, just not big and minus the fuzzy choke. Would I simply put the artichokes into the braise halfway through the 20-30 minute cooking time? Any ideas?

  23. The recipe looks good but I don’t like the idea of simmering the artichokes in water because I feel like the water sucks out the flavor. I think that Michael Chiarello’s lemon-braised artichokes is the best braising recipe for artichokes. You can find it here: http://www.seasonbyseason.com/recipes/artichokes_braised.html
    He doesn’t include fennel, carrots, or other coriander. It’s all about lemon, olive oil, garlic, and salt, and it turns out the most beautiful artichokes every single time. I tend to half (or quarter) the olive oil in his recipe and use white wine or broth to fill it in. It is such a super easy recipe, too, because you just pop the artichokes in the oven, and 45 minutes later, you have your meal!
    Nancy, I use baby artichokes almost exclusively for Michael Chiarello’s recipe. I live in Florida so we can find good artichokes pretty regularly all year long. I cut them in half and they take a little bit less than the full time for making regular sized artichokes. Mary, I’ve thought about braising artichokes with canned artichokes but I think they would end up being mushy. I haven’t tried them with frozen artichoke hearts, but my guess is that those would probably stand up to the long cook time better.
    For those of you worried about throwing away all the leaves, I save them and boil them in water with onions, garlic, and carrots (I am not a big celery fan) for about 45 minutes to an 1 hour to make an artichoke broth and then use the broth for risotto. Yummy.

  24. deb

    Those of you who have asked about discarding the leaves — Of course you can steam or boil them and dip them in your choice of sauces. However, when I cook artichokes whole, the best part of the leaf is that bottom inch, which I leave attached to the heart. The parts that I discard rarely have as much “meat” on them.

  25. Janet

    The best artichokes I ever had was in Florence in the spring. They were raw (!), thinly sliced, and served with shavings of Parmesan cheese. OMG. Nothing better. Ever. A local farmer said it’s a different variety for eating raw, not just baby regular ones. I’m in New England, so I don’t know.

    But if you’re ever in Italy in artichoke season ….

  26. Yum. I feel like this would be the perfect thing to make on a sunday and then reheat (with an egg on top, of course) on a weeknight.

    Fabulous photos. How’s the light in your new kitchen?

  27. Jesse

    Deb, bless you for posting this and for loving artichokes! Let the haters eat…something else. I grew up eating them steamed — scraping the tasty meat off the inside leaves (dipped in various sauces, hummus, aioli, yogurt, mayo) and slowly working inward to the delicious, delicious heart. Here in Oregon we have been getting an ENORMOUS artichoke from CA that has edible heart material that goes all the way down into the stem, in addition to the fresh ones we get from the Oregon coast which are more standard. These CA monsters are so freaking enormous that our regular sturdy kitchen tongs almost aren’t big or strong enough to lift them from the pot! Just want to mention — I think if you pull of the leaves, as you describe in a comment above, there is still a lot of tasty meat that gets lost and does not stick to the heart! I think my puritanical heart rebels against going straight to the heart in prep or eating; the best pleasure of eating the heart, for me, comes after the long (and as a kid, fun) process of eating the leaves one by one and tossing them in a bowl.

  28. I’m with you on the artichoke love for sure, and I just (!) learned to tackle them whole a few weeks ago. I’ll be trying this one for sure.

    Also, I don’t know if anyone else is having trouble but this post didn’t show up in my reader, and it’s still not there. (I use google.)

  29. catherino

    These look AMAZING. I’m one of those lucky ones who live an hour or so from the heart (sorry ;) ) of artichoke country in CA. I can’t wait to try this.

    And while I’m commenting, I made your version of the Ina Garten meatball recipe for dinner last night and they were so, so good.

  30. chucha

    Does anyone have a good recipe for artichoke soup? I had the most phenomenal soup of my life in the Dolomites in northern Italy, the best way I can find to describe it would be a silky artichoke bisque. Have been trying to replicate it, but seems to require an insane amount of artichokes to make some tasty soup. Anyone ever made artichoke soup?

  31. Jen

    I have never had anything but jarred artichokes. I wish my husband liked them so I could try this recipe. Looks like I’ll have to wait until he goes out of town. ;) They are so good. I love a vegetable that just melts in your mouth!

  32. Bria

    I second chucha’s request for artichoke soup recipes. I used to get this amazing artichoke lemon soup at a place called Jag’s in Houston – it was in the first floor of the Houston Design Center, of all places. It had the purest, most beautiful, clean artichoke flavor, enhanced by sweet lemony goodness. Amazing.

    Artichokes are my favorite vegetable, though I’ve never tried to convince anyone who was on the fence, as it always seems like a perfect “okay, more for me!” scenario. Plain old steaming always works for me, but I’m a big fan of splitting them and throwing them on the grill, too. Next time I’m at a farmer’s market, I’ll definitely pick some up and try this lovely recipe, Deb. Thanks!

  33. Lisa P.

    Deb, have you tried Cynar, the Italian artichoke liquor? Try one part Cynar to 3 to 4 parts Prosecco with a squeeze or two of fresh lemon to bring out the artichoke flavor — divine!! I’m in the mood for a good drink and some buttery vegetables.

  34. MamaLana

    One of the things that most delighted me about living in Paris was seeing their selection of baby foods. Would you believe Artichoke puree? I kid you not!

  35. I always read but never comment, until now that is, it took an artichoke recipe
    (not that the others didn’t inspire, they did.)
    I share your passion for these beautiful and tricky ones. I loved them before I moved to Rome and then I loved them some more. The markets overflow with the
    most exquisite specimens at the right time of year. By each stall somebody sits preparing them, half lemon in one hand, knives flicking away at extraordinary speeds. The romans do beautifully simple things with them and eat the tiny, delicate ones raw with local oil and lemon juice.
    This recipe is lovely, I like the inclusion of fennel seeds.
    I think you should come to Rome to eat some artichokes.

  36. I learned to deal with artichokes out of necessity. I was cooking a charity dinner with a chef, and she threw me 12 huge artichokes. I’d seen my chef deal with them a time or two, so I just dove in. The first three looked okay, and by the fourth one, I Had It Down:) I rubbed them w/lemon and oil, salt and pepper and roasted them, then we marinated them in a citrus vinaigrette, Not bad, for my first try.

    I must confess that, generally, they are too much work for an every day meal. They are tasty, though.

  37. You should visit Rome at this time of year, artichokes are sacred in Rome and you find them in everything, plus the classic carciofi alla romana and alla giudea. Deliciousness all spring long.

  38. How I adore artichokes. When I was a kid my Dad used to steam them whole and serve them up with a dish of mayonnaise. We’d dip the leaves in and scrape the small edible bit off with our teeth. Sounds so awful, but I loved it. Then of course I devoured the heart once I got to it. Sadly, I never cook the fresh ones at home. I’ll have to remedy that and try this recipe – thanks!

  39. Ahh…I adore artichokes, but after I over-cooked one batch many years ago, I got disheartened and never cooked them again. This post was inspiring–I might make some for dinner!

  40. nan

    Please tell me you didn’t throw out the leaves?!? My favorite part! We had artichokes last night with our dinner – so, so good dipped in a garlic aioli…I must have missed this recipe in November but I’ve printed it out and I’ll be making them tomorrow…and I’ll still cook the leaves to I can eat them while the rest cook – thanks!

  41. Kristin VanStory

    These are, quite possibly, the most fabulous pictures I have seen on your site YET. And I am an every day Smitten Kitchen check-in kind of gal. Is it kismet that artichokes are your fav? Most definitely. The pics make me drool at midnight even. SOOO impressed.

  42. Vanessa

    Oh dear god, we are favorite food soul mates. But please please PLEASE tell me you did something with all those delicious leaves? You didn’t just throw them away, right? RIGHT?!?!?

  43. This is PERFECT. Artichokes are one of the few foods my boyfriend and I actually agree on. (Well, does Ketel One count as a food?) I even made the homemade Hostess cupcake for his 30th birthday, and he had exactly one bite. He who is a snack cake fanatic. Honestly. Talk about lame.

  44. I adore artichokes! I’ve never actually made them myself, but I need to after seeing this post. You’ve started a craving, and I’m not going to rest until I have them. Delicious!

  45. MK

    My mouth is literally watering reading this recipe. Although I’m pretty adventurous in the kitchen I’ve never restled an artichoke for anything other than steaming. This looks fab!

    I’m adding artichokes to the garden this year in Connecticut – will see how it goes! There is little room for error in the short season.

  46. Bless you. Oh, bless you. Just LOOKING at artichokes gets my heart pounding. I have often said this, and I stand by it… if a series of events caused me to murder someone in a jealous/vengeful rage, and I were subsequently sentenced to death, my last meal would be a platter full of artichokes. Grilled, steamed, braised or stuffed, I’d leave this world a happy soul.

    That’s how much I love artichokes. So, thank you for this. I will now throw the lap top aside, race to the store, and have these as a midnight snack.

  47. Sherry

    Artichokes are a sign that Spring is here and our markets are overflowing with them right now. Fresh asparagus and big red strawberries too. But be aware that there are now two artichoke varieties being sold out here in the SF Bay Area. The good one, our original artichoke, has very sharp thorns at the tips of the leaves. The new, thorn-free variety is tasteless and mushy. In the summer we buy packages of fresh baby artichokes at Trader Joe’s and grill them. Rinse them off, cut ’em in half (there’s no choke to remove), brush them with olive oil and grill until they are tender. Toss them in a bowl and drizzle with really good olive oil, chopped garlic, chopped fresh mint, a pinch of dried red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Serve with chunks of bread and a glass of wine.

  48. Carla

    I love artichokes and can’t wait to try out your recipe. I have access to artichokes year ’round since I live about 30 minutes away from Castrovile “the artichoke capital of the world”, in the “salad bowl”. If you ever visit Monterey county here in California you have to stop in Castrovile and pick up some artichokes from Pezzini Farms and Lazzarini farms. You’ll find them on the net and I know you can order online.

  49. I’ve never eaten artichokes like this, never mind made them myself. I must try this over the weekend. The flavors sound incredible! Thanks Deb!

  50. Wow! I am thrilled to see this “artichoke tutorial”! I have been trying to eat more vegetables that are in season so cooking artichokes fits right in with that. I love artichokes but have never cooked a fresh one. Sounds yummy. Thank you :)

  51. Christina

    Thanks so much! I bought an artichoke at the farmer’s market and it was close to going bad because I was so intimidated to cook it. Your easy-to-follow pictorial instructions were just the ticket. After reading the comments, I left some of the outer leaves on and absolutely love the leaves too!

  52. Nicole @ Sprinkle with Salt

    These look amazing! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. And the step by step photos are appreciated!

  53. ailo

    Ahh! Google Reader didn’t show me this post until today!

    Oh lordy do I love artichokes. I’d have a hard time buying eight artichokes and not eating the delicious leaves, however. I think I’ll steam the leaves, even if as you say, most of the meat is still attached.

  54. While I love the taste of the artichokes, they just seem like so much work for the bounty, y’know? Kinda like ribs…too much eatin’ work. But. Your pics always make food look so appetizing and so doable…like, maybe I could do this one.

  55. Deb,
    A few years ago when I lived in CA an early freeze filled the supermarkets with the ugliest 25 cent artichokes I’ve ever seen – the only time I’ve ever had my fill of artichokes.

  56. Kim

    I stumbled onto your chicken salad recipe (printed it out; will try it ASAP) then poked around a little more and found your post about your Paris trip. My daughter and I will be going this spring so I read every word and looked over every picture. I also downloaded Clotilde’s book to my Kindle and printed out your post about where you ate. I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t wait!!!!!

  57. Kaytee

    Here is a picture of my arm. I am so glad to hear someone else say they love artichokes!!! In France, they just don’t!!

  58. I have never been able to bring myself to do anything with fresh artichokes other than eat them, steamed, dipped in butter or a little mayo. Or maybe grilled, again with butter or mayo. Maybe someday I will make this, if my life includes a glut of artichokes, and I get tired of the steamed with mayo bit.

    If you go to artichoke country outside of Castroville California they sell artichoke hearts that are battered and deep fried. I can barely write that it sounds so good.

  59. asborb

    This looks so yummy! (boo to google reader for only posting it today)
    I wonder why you cover the pot with waxed paper..doesn’t it melt/stick? which side faces up? Does anyone have a suggestion?
    I’m putting this in my “need to make!” folder :)

  60. maris

    I’m so glad I have a jar of artichokes sitting in my fridge because if I didn’t I’d have to buy some after reading this post! I’ve never used fresh ones, that’s one of those things that I “will do eventually.”

  61. annie

    Deb, you must be the daughter I never, but should’ve had! (3 sons, 2 grand-sons, cute and cuddlly, but still…guys!) Thank you, in general for the wonder that you are, and specifically for the terrific artichoke recipes. I too stand in awe at the sight of them, no matter the cost or the condition and cannot resist their prickley-leafed, green succulence!

  62. kb

    my fave too!
    Had them last night w/red quinoa,spinach and parm in a chicken tock broth…divine.The pics are a great help..I seem to cut them differently everytime.

  63. liz

    this looks soo good, i might have to try dismantling an artichoke again!

    thanks for the delicious sounding (and hopefully tasting) recipe.

  64. Monica Coello

    These look yummy! I’m just getting into artichokes now but my Grandma adores them so I totallly had to email her the link to the recipe though I’m sure we’ll be making them together real soon. I don’t think she’ll let me discard the leaves though..we both love eating them!

  65. I saw artichoke with extra long stems at the farmer’s market… such an indulgence.
    This is a good invitation into spring. A toast to seasonal food yet marked with the braise of winter fare.

  66. I saw the recipe in the morning and I JUST HAD TO TRY IT! I did them last night for dinner. Incredibly good, I reduced the amount of oil, though, and they were still VERY tasty. Thanks, Deb!

  67. Louise

    I came to your website via Cookie Madness and Pie Crust 101. Poking around a bit I saw this, as I too love artichokes, particularly the baby ones. I have to comment on “eating locally”. I’m a Penn State Master Gardener and personally I find the “eating locally” to be hooey. When stuff is in season locally, great, but when it’s not, like right now, blackberries and blueberries from Chile taste pretty darned good. And, if you’re all about eating locally, then you better give up eating bananas if you live in Pennsylvania like I do. :-)

  68. Mel

    As a fellow artichoke lover (with braising as my favorite method), I thought I would share a quick tip for one of the toughest jobs – removing the choke. Here’s a hint – what do an artichoke and a grapefruit have in common? Well, they can both benefit from the use of a grapefruit spoon! It makes removing the choke MUCH easier. Also, for those near a trader joes, TJ’s has had packages of 4 baby artichokes for sale for the last few spring seasons. I don’t live near a TJ’s now, but I wish I did for those artichokes :) Happy spring!

  69. Melody C.

    A very happy memory – my mother, sister (age4), and me (age 6) eating artichokes by pulling off leaves, dipping in melted butter, and scraping through teeth while sitting on the porch of our playhouse one summer evening. My sister and I credit my mother with introducing us to many foods that we still love today. While living in California my sister did indulge in this “butter delivery mechanism” frequently. I know experiment with lots of cooking methods and sauces, but always return to butter and lemon! Going to find some artichokes (European!) today!

  70. HerbCook

    I made these the other night. They were delish! The fennel adds really delicious flavor. I cooked the braising liquid down a bit to thicken it into a nice sauce (which was also very tasty on the chicken paillard I served with the artichokes). I removed the choke before cooking and they turned out great. Definitely a keeper.

  71. Diane in Northern CA

    I count myself as a member of the artichoke lovers group, too. I don’t like green vegetables; okay there are 5: artichokes, lettuce, green onions, avocados, and cucumbers. I am very lucky to live not far from the Salinas Valley, home of Castroville – the Artichoke Capital of the World. We are able to get fresh artichokes most of the year. It’s a good thing since I don’t like too many other green vegetables. My favorite dipping sauce is a mustard vinaigrette. I will have to try your recipe very soon since it looks yummy!

  72. Jill

    Deb, I made this over the weekend with some killer chokes, and it was delightful. I would recommend even more coriander and fennel, and try some garlic aioli to dip the chokes in at the table. They are very easy to keep warm in the oven while the rest of the dinner is being finished up. I adore garlic and next time may put garlic or leeks in the braise. Also, salted meyer lemon works well in the braise:)
    What do you do with the cooking liquid after the dish is finished? I just tossed it, but am betting it could be good in soup stock or to simmer meat in. What do you think? Thanks for the GREAT stage-by-stage photos, they gave me great confidence!

  73. deb

    Glad you liked it! We ate the liquid too, I think. Or — now I remember — tossed it with the pasta a bit. I bet you could reduce it into a nice sauce, if you strained it after.

  74. Oh my. How did your feed email thingy fail to send me this post?! See, I became smitten with you and your kitchen when I read through your archives of your deep and abiding love for all things artichokey; I love these weird little food thistles with a fervor I usually try to reserve only for human beings who could return the favor. So it seems a cruel twist that I have not received my regular email for this post! Thank goodness I saw your tweet about the lack of artichoke love.

    The two gigantic globe artichokes I bought yesterday are probably destined for a simple steam, but I think I will try this recipe with the next batch of baby artichokes I find. Gorgeous.

  75. deb

    There were some RSS issues last week (which drives the emails) — it was down for a day or two. I forced this as an extra email last Wednesday, but I guess some people still didn’t get it?

  76. Julia

    mmmmm LOVE artichokes too! My mom got me started on ’em young. But sadly, like you, we’re on the east coast with limited artichoke goodness. Some stores have the audacity of putting artichokes out that are obviously not good ones to eat! The nerve! We’ve always just steamed them and dipped them in butter, but I might have to expand my artichoke horizons :)

  77. Deb

    I took the time to make these yesterday for our passover seder. My hands were so sore and tired I wasn’t sure if i could get thru the 4 artichokes that I used. After the dinner was over I realized that i had forgotten to serve them!!! I can’t believe it. Well, now they are mine to eat.

  78. SK – Thanks to you and this fantastic post, I have now conquered my fear/confusion of preparing artichokes. Not sure what the big deal was after all. I road tested my first attempt with a mini artichoke and fennel lasagna with artichoke sauce instead of the bechamel sauce as a starter for Easter lunch. It was SO good, and it’s all coz of you. I believe I am forever in your debt :-)

  79. Oh! I love artichokes. One way to cook them is in a casserole with peas.You saute onions and when they are brown you add the artichokes, after you clean them and cut them in half.You put little water 1 and a half cup, and you let boiled a little bit. You dissolve 2 tablespoons tomato paste in a half cup water and you add that to the artichokes.Some salt and pepper for seasoning and you clean and cut some medium potatoes 6-7 of them and add 3-4 cups water.Let them simmering for about 45 minutes , medium fire and at the end you put in the pot the peas.You let them cook together for another 30 minutes. When they are ready close the heat and let them cool 10-15 minutes. You serve that dish with feta cheese . Delicious.
    Try it . If you like artichokes you are going to love this dish.

  80. Teressa H

    I have never eaten an artichoke, well I bought some that were pickeled and did not care for them. I have always wanted to try them but did not know how to cook them. I will have to give this a try.

  81. Kelly L

    Reading this post was like looking in the mirror. My love of artichokes runs so deep it’s almost disturbing. Given that, I found the most GIGANTIC, seriously..the size of a human head, at Whole Foods today. And on top of that, it was only $1.50, or 2 for $3.

    I immediately came home, prepped, boiled in water w/ bay leaf, 2 garlic cloves, lemon juice from 1/2 lemon and 2 fresh lemon slices. Served with lemon butter. Ahhh-mazing.

    I’m thrilled to try this recipe given I’ll be running back to WFs tomorrow purchase more ‘chokes. Thanks for posting!

    1. deb

      Kelly — I bought those too! I usually boil or steam artichokes for an hour. At 1 hour 30 minutes, we ordered takeout. But they were delicious the next day… and ridiculously filling.

  82. Jenna

    I tried these and they were delicious! However, I found the coriander and fennel to be a bit too bitter for my taste. Next time I think I will stick with the fennel but leave out or cut back on the coriander. I think some parmesan cheese might sweeten the recipe, too.

  83. Because I like to make my holiday menus as laborious as possible, I decided this would be the perfect side dish for Easter dinner. As I spent the better part of 45 minutes cursing over artichoke splinters (while curse words spewed from my mouth in preparation for the resurrection I was reminded of your recent post about your mother’s sh** cake…) I wondered if they would be worth all the work. Were they ever! And better yet, somehow my guests didn’t gobble them all up and I’m happy to report that they reheat beautifully as well.

  84. Tried this recipe tonight because I too am a fellow lover of artichokes. Well, it’s more of a love hate relationship because I love them but hate to prepare them. Anyway, everything went well except the broth/braise was SO bitter, I think i put a tad too much lemon zest and it messed everything up. I actually ate the bitter artichoke hearts anyway because I couldn’t bear to waste them. Next time I decide to deal with artichokes they WILL come out perfect. I also think a little more lemon juice in the cold water would have helped. I won’t give up though!

  85. Debra

    I found beautiful baby artichokes and prepared this recipe more or less, adding white wine to the braise and grated cheese to the linguine Ihe artichokes were served on. My husband made sausages and it tasted like Italy. Thanks!

  86. karen pascale

    These braised artichokes are fabulous. I also wanted to use more of the artichoke *THIS METHOD DOES NOT KILL YOUR HANDS* so I just trimed the bottom leaves off and peeled the stem, cut the tips of some of the middle leaves with scissors and then took a good knife and cut the entire top 3/4’s of an inch off the top of the artichoke, laying it sideways on a cutting board.. Kinda opened them up with my fingers pulling the choke open somewhat and then proceded to braise them covered for about 40-50 minutes, turning them a few times. I love the braising mix of the oil oil, shallots and carrots, I also used some chicken broth with my water, and as well as the lemon juice called for and I added the whole squeezed lemon halves (it did not get bitter) for much of the cooking before removing them. ( I needed a bit more liquid as the chokes were bigger not having been stipped of all their leaves down to the heart and stem). By the time they were done the liquid was quite reduced as the recipe states. I took the whole pan and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes to cool them so I could handle them. Then cut them in half, removed the fuzzy part with a small parring knife and sauted them in the butter. Took the remaining stock added the remainder of lemon, a splash of chicken stock, reheated and served this over the plated chokes. 2 per person… this does allow you to have leaves to enjoy but are a bit more messy to eat. They are superb! And I did not find it to be a difficult or time consuming recipe. Thank you again for another keeper! I’m going to try the zuchinni gallete next.

  87. For years I have tried various artichoke roasting and grilling recipes, to no avail. And then along came this one. This is now “my” special go-to artichoke recipe. Thanks for all your great cooking work!

  88. My favorite way to eat artichokes is to cook them in a pressure cooker with plenty of kosher salt in the water and then dip the leaves (and eventually the heart) in homemade lemony olive oily hummus. I like them split and grilled with oil or butter and balsamic vinegar too!

  89. I saw artichoke with extra long stems at the farmer’s market… such an indulgence.
    This is a good invitation into spring. A toast to seasonal food yet marked with the braise of winter fare.

  90. Nadine

    This was the most delicious preparation of artichokes that I have ever had, if not ever eaten. The outline and photos explaining how to clean the artichokes are flawless. The work was simple and well worth the effort, but you really need a good chef’s knife for cutting down the artichokes in the first step. I really enjoyed this treat after putting my kids to bed!