Artichokes are a love ’em or hate ’em vegetable. I’m in the love ’em camp so nothing excites me more than seeing piles of fresh artichokes at the markets. And if they are baby artichokes it is just that much better. Please trust me when I say that a fresh artichoke bears little resemblance to the canned ones many of us are probably more familiar with.
Many people are turned off at the prospect of cooking a fresh artichoke but it is actually quite simple. Because artichokes will quickly turn brown once cut, the key to producing fresh green vegetables is working quickly. And this dish is so worth it. With just a touch of butter, a dousing of lemon juice and a healthy dose of garlic they are simple yet sophisticated and make the perfect side dish for grilled meat. (Or you can eat them alone…………..I won’t judge you).
SAUTEED LEMON-GARLIC ARTICHOKES
4 baby artichokes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt & pepper to taste
- Fill a large non-reactive bowl with cool water and add the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
- Trim the artichokes, stripping them of all of the tough, inedible portions of their leaves. Slice the artichoke in half lengthwise and scoop out any of the fuzzy choke. (Very small artichokes may not have one). Drop the artichokes into the lemon water bath.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers add the crushed garlic and stirring frequently, saute until golden brown 6-8 minutes. Remove the garlic from the oil and discard.
- Rinse the artichokes in cool water then shake off the excess before placing cut side down into the hot skillet. Drizzle with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and saute for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown on all sides. Turn over frequently and drizzle with the remaining lemon juice if they begin to stick to the pan.
- During the final 5 minutes of cooking add the butter and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
- Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels and serve immediately.