Belonging to the same family as thistles, global artichokes are considered by many to be a delicacy and like asparagus is a true spring vegetable. However, for those unfamiliar with this vegetable it can be somewhat challenging, but once mastered converts look forward to spring so they can feast on this unique vegetable.
Now in season you will find artichokes at Farmers’ Markets and specialty vegetable shops.
Easiest Braised Artichokes Ever
6 small to medium, globe artichokes, prepared and quartered (see below for preparation instructions)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dry white wine or water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 onion, sliced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 For the cooking broth, combine stock, wine or water, lemon juice, onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary in a saucepan. Bring to the boil.
2 Add artichokes. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl of iced water. Drain well before using.
Some Serving Ideas for Braised Artichokes
- Serve on a platter with garlic aioli for dipping.
- Combine ¼ cup lemon juice, ½ cup olive oil, 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 2 sprigs fresh thyme in a bowl. Add warm, cooked artichokes. Cover, marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serve as part of an antipasto platter.
- Pan-fry in a little butter and oil and serve as a side dish – especially good with fish, lamb and chicken.
- Make an artichoke pate – strain the cooking broth and reserve. Place artichokes, 1 tbsp olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in a food processor. Add a little of the cooking broth and process until smooth – continue adding cooking broth until you have pate of desired consistency. Add lemon juice to taste.
- Don’t throw away the cooking broth – it’s too delicious. Add to soup or use instead of milk when mashing potatoes.
To Prepare Globe Artichokes
Allow one to two small to medium globe artichokes per person. Combine 2L water and
¼ cup lemon juice in a bowl and set aside. Working with one artichoke at a time, bend back out leaves until they snap off close to the base. Continue removing leaves until
exposed leaves are pale green at the top and pale yellow at the base. Depending on the size of the artichokes and to avoid losing too many leaves you trim the top of the artichoke to remove the tough tips of the leaves. Trim base of stem, leaving as much steam intact as possible then using a vegetable peeler, peel stem to remove rough outer layer. Cut
artichoke lengthwise into quarters and remove any fuzzy centre (the choke). Place in bowl of lemon water to prevent discolouration while preparing remaining artichokes. The artichokes are now ready to cook.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore