When in New York, do as the Romans would do.
I love artichokes. I always have. Growing up in South Africa, the season was always very short – and it happened around September or October. My mom would steam them and we’d sit by the pool tearing off the leaves and carefully dipping them into creamy salty butter.
When I think about it, there was always a mad rush to eat as many as we could, because before you knew it, the season would be over. Not so in New York – you can get artichokes year round, even though the best time to buy them is spring. So I’m a little late with this dish, but it is one of my favourites. I always use baby artichokes although the bigger ones will do just fine.
The recipe I found in Fine Cooking, one of my fave magazines to cook from. I love the combination of the garlic, mint and parsely! Apparently it’s a very Roman dish – love the sound of that… ‘I’m having a Roman dish tonight’ :-)
16 baby artichokes, trimmed and halved or 12 large artichokes, trimmed to the heart and quartered
Extra-virgin olive oil for sauteeing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (warning: don’t overdo the lemon….the artichokes will be too bitter)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (I used less mint than this)
Drain the artichokes and blot dry with a dishtowel. In a 12-inch pan, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add half of the artichokes cut side down, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes. As each one browns, flip it and brown the outside, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the second batch of artichokes, adding more oil if necessary. Reduce the heat to medium and add the reserved cooked artichokes to the ones in the pan, along with the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and the lemon juice; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir in the parsley and mint, raise the heat to medium, and simmer until any remaining liquid is mostly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.