Braised artichokes

Globe artichokes are in season at the moment.

They do require a bit of preparation, which I realise may put some people off, but braising them as I have done will reduce a bit of the fear, confusion and time and you will be rewarded with the most delicious morsels to chew, suck and dunk your bread into.

Fully enjoy every last bit of them.

Photo by Simon Lambert.
Photo by Simon Lambert.
Braised artichokes

Serves 4

4 globe artichokes
2 lemons
½ cup olive oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
4 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
1 cup white wine
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp mint leaves, roughly chopped

Begin by preparing the artichokes. Fill a large bowl with cold water, squeeze the lemon juice in and throw in the lemons.

Pull off the first layer of tough outer leaves of the artichokes, then remove the second. I use a sharp little knife to tidy up the base of the artichoke as this is the heart.

Cut in half and then into quarters. You need to work quickly as they will discolour. You will find a little hairy choke. Carefully remove this. I find a teaspoon works well to do this.

Once you have done that, get them into the lemon water immediately. Continue until all the artichokes are done.

In a heavy pot, add the oil, shallots and garlic and cook gently for five minutes.

Drain the artichokes and add to the shallot mix. Cook for five minutes then add the herbs, wine and salt. Cover with a lid and braise gently for 15-20 minutes or until the heart of the artichoke is tender (test with the tip of a knife).

Once they are cooked, add the chopped parsley and mint, stir to combine and serve at room temperature with plenty of good bread.

They will keep for up to five days in the fridge. Just make sure you get them to room temperature before eating.

-In last week's recipe for the Whoopie Pies, the flour measurement should have read 2¼ cups of flour, not ¼.

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