Thursday, April 14, 2011

Roasted Artichokes

Confession time:  this is my first attempt at roasting artichokes.

My experience with artichokes to date has been 1) using canned hearts, and 2) using the whole ones for decorating purposes only. 

And after I photographed all of these steps I found out that I trimmed them incorrectly.

But you know what?

If this is how erroneously-trimmed artichokes taste, I'd gladly do it again.  They were delicious!

Start out by lopping off the thorny tops (about an inch or two).

Slice each artichoke in half.

Keep a cut lemon nearby and rub the juice on the sliced artichoke.
It keeps discoloration at bay.

Now, slice each half into half....
(Translation:  each artichoke will be quartered.)

Bring 12 or so cups of water to a boil.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice...

and two teaspoons of salt to the water.

And add the quartered artichokes.
Boil for 5 minutes, until tender but firm.
(Set a timer; over-boiling them could be disasterous.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drain artichokes. 

Place them in a bowl and add 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil,

1/2 teaspoon salt, and

1/4 teaspoon pepper
(and 3-4 teaspoons of minced garlic).

Stir really well.

Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and
bake for 30 minutes, stirring several times.
While the artichokes are baking,
chop a handful of fresh parsley.

Remove the papery skin from a clove of garlic.
(Trick:  just smash the clove with the side of your knife and then you can peel the skin right off.)

Oohhhh...sad little naked clove. 

Mince it.

In a large bowl, place the garlic, parsley
and the zest from about 1/2 a lemon.


Remove the artichokes from the oven,
 and toss with the parsley mixture.

And serve.

To eat the artichokes, peel off the outermost leaves. 

Then, draw the more "meaty" end through your teeth, extracting the yummy part.  The closer you get to the center of the artichoke, or the "heart" the more there will be to eat.

Discards the spent leaves in a dainty little pile on your plate.

(There are a myriad of dipping sauces you can accompany with roasted artichokes such as:
Hollandaise Sauce
Asian Peanut Dipping Sauce.)

Roasted Artichokes
4-5 servings

5 medium artichokes
1 lemon, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced (about 3-4 teaspoons) (this will be divided)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (start with about a handful of leaves)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (zesting half a lemon will equal about a teaspoon)

Trim artichokes (cut off the thorny tips; about 2 inches).  Leave most of the stem on.  Quarter each artichoke.

As you work, rub the surface of the artichokes with half a lemon.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large stock pot, bring about 12 cups of water, the lemon juice, and the 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil.  Toss in the artichokes and boil for about 5 minutes, until firm but still tender.  Drain and pat dry.  In a large bowl, mix the artichokes with the olive oil and remaining salt and pepper.  Also toss in 3 teaspoons of the minced garlic.  Stir well. 

Line a baking dish with parchment paper.  Roast the artichokes for 30 minutes, using tongs to carefully turn and stir the artichokes every 10 minutes during the baking time. 

Return to bowl and stir with the parsley, lemon zest and remaining teaspoon of finely minced garlic.

Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Slightly adapted from:  The Joy of Cooking