Artichoke Perfection

August 6, 2010 at 10:44 am 2 comments

Managed to make my favorite thing I’ve ever made last night. Bold statement? Maybe. But true.

I LOVE artichokes. As a kid I spent a lot of time out in Monterey County, California — which is right near the home of the most delicious artichokes in the world, in a town called Castroville. If you’re ever so lucky to head out to that part of the country (and believe me, you should since the most gorgeous coastline in the US is right nearby), you will soon discover fields upon fields of awesome ‘chokes, along with farmstands galore offering you a hundred different ways to eat those delicious little suckers. Fun Fact: Marilyn Monroe was once named the Artichoke Queen of the Castroville Artichoke Festival. So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.

Anyways, for my artichokes last night, I only had access to some baby guys I found at the organic market. Not sure about their origin, and they certainly weren’t as fresh as the guys I get out in Cali, but my recipe called for plenty of cooking and flavor so I wasn’t too worried about it.

To start off, as with any artichokes, I had to take off the toughest outer leaves, cut the bottom tip of the globe, and peel the stalk a little bit to expose the tender parts of the plant.

I also halved them to make the cooking go faster.

After that was done, I filled a deep saucepan with water, brought it to a simmer, and tossed these guys in there to steam up with the lid on and tenderize for about 10 minutes, just until they could be easily pricked with a fork.

After those are steamed, you want to strain off the artichokes, let them cool for a little bit, and then cut or spoon out the tough inner sections of the plant so that you’re left with just the nice meaty leaves and the heart. Then, pour out the water you had in the pan, and put it back onto the stove with some olive oil and 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic. Once that’s nice and heated up and the garlic has had a chance to cook in the oil for at least 30 seconds, put the artichokes back in and cook them in the oil for about 5 minutes on each side to get a nice crisp going. I also like to season them up with salt and pepper in this stage.

When those are ready and crisped up, take them out and put them into a bowl off to the side.

For the final touch, while the pan is still hot (but the burners are off) add a small amount of butter to the oil (like 1 tablespoon) and then squeeze in the juice from half of a lemon. Mix that into the leftover garlic and oil and then just pour that over the cooked artichokes and they’re ready to eat!

It might sound like a lot of work for those who eat artichokes and know that there’s often not much meat, especially on the baby chokes, but honestly this recipe really tenderizes the middle so that you can just use a fork and really get to the flavorful parts easily. Trust me, it’s worth it. Best. Thing. Ever.


Entry filed under: Meals.

Drinking Breakfast Roasted

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mcirinelli  |  September 26, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I love artichokes, but these look amazing! I’m going to try for sure:)

    • 2. jamorten  |  September 27, 2010 at 9:23 am

      definitely try them out! they are now a staple in my kitchen.
      by the way, your artichokes looked amazing too! i’ll have to try them out some sunday when i have the whole afternoon to myself. thanks for commenting!


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