Roasted Artichokes

Take me to a salad bar and you’ll see me load up my plate with mounds of artichoke hearts. I love them. As a pizza topper, dip enhancement, or accompaniment to a pasta salad, artichokes add a toothsome bite to many meals. I remember a few years ago when I had an amazing appetizer at Houston’s restaurant, where you plucked off the artichoke leaves, dipped them in some mayo-based sauce, and scraped the leaves and sauce off with your teeth. It was heavenly. So when I was in my first Boston kitchen, I saw whole artichokes at Whole Foods and wanted to duplicate that appetizer. I steamed the artichoke whole for what seemed like a very, very, very long time. The end result was a delicious veggie dish, but all that labor seemed like a lot of work to get to the heart of the veggie. So I stuck with canned or frozen artichoke hearts going forward.

Then I was contacted by Ocean Mist Farms asking if I’d like to receive a shipment of artichokes. Would I?! Yes please. Note: anyone who contacts me to ask if I’d like to receive a shipment of produce, the answer will always be a resounding YES. I wanted to give them another college try, instead of copping out with the semi-prepared versions. Little did I know I’d have 15 or so tries. My produce drawer is literally busting open with artichokes!

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Aren’t they just stunning?!?

I put a shout-out to my twitter followers asking for some cooking suggestions, and got everything from suggesting I stuff them, to grill them. Someone suggested I roast them and it never dawned on me I could, since you don’t actually eat a lot of those tough outer leaves that would get roasted. I did some googling around and found this great step-by-step on Pinch My Salt for roasting whole artichokes. I watched the video too, and followed the instructions to a T, except I used bottled lemon juice and frozen garlic cloves, since that’s all I had.


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I cut off the top bit of the artichoke.

Then used my fingers to wedge some garlic in there, as well as drizzle on some lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt.

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All bundled up in a double layer of tin foil. Then I cooked them at 400F for about an hour and 10 minutes, and let them cool for another 20.

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Funk and I plucked off leaf by leaf, scraping the meat off each one with our teeth. They were so soft – unlike their original prickly, stiff version. Our dinner conversation that night revolved around artichokes:

Why are they so darn hard to get to the heart of the artichoke, where the best meat is? Who discovered you could even eat artichokes, considering how intimidating they are? Why are artichokes so rigid and prickly? What critters are they trying to prevent from eating them?

Funk assumed they had to be supremely nutritious, and that was the prize you get (lots of vitamins and minerals) after spending so much effort just eating them. They are in fact a fantastic source of fiber and potassium.

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When we got to the heart, and scraped out the furry cap, we savored the meat, which had a caramelized layer of the lemon juice, olive oil and salt, that was so tasty, it was worth all the work.

What’s your favorite way to cook ‘chokes? I have about seven or so left in the fridge to work with, and would love new ideas!

12 Comments

  1. Posted April 26, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    ooh yum! Did you make a dip for them as well or eat them as is?

  2. Posted April 26, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    We’re big artichoke eaters in my family. We clean them then boil them in a pot of water. However, artichokes turn brown if you don’t zealously acidulate the water with at least one fresh squeezed lemon. Many people eat their ‘chokes with melted butter, but we usually make some sort of dip involving an acid, fresh herbs and mayo.

    Your crisper overflowing with artichokes is making me drool. Hooray for springtime and its glorious vegetables!

  3. Posted April 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been intimidated to work with artichokes! I don’t know why because I think they are extremely delicious! I might have to attempt to make them sometime soon!

  4. Posted April 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m obsessed with artichokes and jealous that you got a free shipment of them! Savor them… I have steamed them in the past and they were fabulous. I dipped the petals in an olive oil, lemon juice, and herb dressing. I cooked the artichokes using this recipe http://bit.ly/Sdc9O

  5. Posted April 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I love any kind of veggie roasted but never would have thought to roast artichokes. They look delicious!!

  6. Posted April 26, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to try this one! I never thought to roast them either! This weekend, I stuffed one and bathed the other in lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic and steamed them both together in my pressure cooker with blue potatoes, peas, and onions. I couldn’t decide if I should go with the stuffed ones I usually default to or try something new, so I did both and they were both delicious! This post is motivation for me to post my recipes for both versions soon!! You guys would probably love the lemon walnut garlic parsley olive oil dipping sauce I whipped up in the vita-mix! mmmm… it’s almost time for leftovers… guess what I’m having tonight?!

  7. Posted April 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Ha! Funny you wrote this. I recently wrote an article on artichokes and have been obsessed ever since! I never knew they has so much fiber! I’ve been experimenting with them too (though not fresh) and will be blogging about them soon.

  8. Posted April 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Yummm. I love artichokes. I usually boil them in a pot of water but now am intrigued to try them roasted! In the past, I have stuffed them with olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic, S&P.

  9. Posted May 8, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I’m with you – I adore artichokes. My favorite way is to steam them, then dip them in a low cal Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing. Yum!

    Kristi

  10. Posted May 20, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    My daughter Miss 9 loves them. We boil them and peel back the leaves until you get to that heart. Granted she has a fair serve of butter and cracked pepper or olive oil, but I love that she’s an adventurous eater.

  11. Susan
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never been a huge artichoke fan, but the phrase “caramelized layer of the lemon juice, olive oil and salt, that was so tasty, it was worth all the work” makes this a must try. I can almost taste it! Now to add arties to our shopping list…anything caramelized is YUM!

  12. Janel
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Let me know if you try the artichokes this way, Susan! There’s always spinach artichoke dip if you don’t love roasted artichokes 😉

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