Fresh artichokes are probably one of my favorite vegetables and baby artichokes are even better than the larger version of this funny looking vegetable. Tender and mild with a slightly nutty flavor, you can eat them whole without having to worry the prickly choke in their center. And fresh artichokes are nothing like the canned or pickled ones most people are more familiar with.
There are so many ways you can use fresh baby artichokes but my favorite way is a simple preparation with a few herbs, some lemon juice and a bit of white wine. This recipe is a classic that I adapted from Gourmet Magazine and it really doesn’t get much simpler than this. For the best flavor, choose fresh, firm and brightly colored artichokes. You can use whatever dried herbs you have on hand. The most important thing, however, is to go light on the herbs since you want to be able to enjoy the taste of the artichokes.
WINE SAUTEED BABY ARTICHOKES
8 baby artichokes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- Bend the outer leaves of the artichokes back until they snap off close to the base and remove several more layers of leaves in the same manner until the white inner leaves are reached. Trim the tips and quarter the artichokes.
- In a small bowl toss the artichokes with the flour and salt and black pepper to taste.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet set over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking
- Add the garlic and cook until it has softened.
- Add the artichokes and sauté them over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes.
- Stir in the oregano, basil and the lemon juice and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the wine and the red pepper flake and simmer the mixture, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the artichokes are very tender.
- Uncover and boil over high heat for 1 minute or until it is thickened slightly.