Braised Artichokes

I know spring is here because I see artichokes popping up all over in the stores. Artichokes happen to be one of my top 5 vegetables that I couldn’t live without! So with that being said, whenever I see them cooked a different way or a new recipe I haven’t tried, I’m all over it!

Such is the case with braising artichokes, would you believe I’ve never actually braised an artichoke before?
I’ve stuffed many in my lifetime with various fillings, I couldn’t put a number on it.

I’ve fried them (don’t do that anymore), grilled them ( so good ), put them in everything you can imagine, salads, omelette’s, quiche, dips, bruschetta, crostini, hummus, salsa, pasta dishes, risotto, pizzas, soup, added alongside meat dishes, marinated, frozen or fresh it doesn’t matter!

I came across this recipe from the book Salt to Taste, and I’m so glad I did, this will now become part of my beloved artichoke repertoire. Great for a buffet or an antipasto table, it tastes best when slightly warm or at room temperature. I used fresh artichokes for this recipe so it took a little time to cut them in quarters and to prep them, but oh so worth it. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use frozen instead, I would not recommend marinated.

Here’s the fabulous recipe:
Adapted from Salt to Taste
4 large artichokes quartered with choke out and rubbed with lemon, tender leaves only
2 lemons
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 sliced garlic cloves
3 small whole red pepperoncini, or less if you like
1 T. of dried oregano
1 large onion, thick slices
2 small rosemary sprigs
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 T of white wine vinegar, I used fresh lemon juice instead
1/4 cup of chicken broth
Salt and cracked black pepper

After your artichokes are prepped and ready to go, place oil, garlic, pepperoncini and oregano on low in a large deep skillet. Gently warm til garlic is soft about 5 minutes. Add onion, rosemary and cook over low heat until onion is soft. Add wine, vinegar or lemon juice and broth. Bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer, add the artichokes and cook til tender. Allow to cool, serve warm or room temperature.

The flavors all blend together perfectly and you get a hint of spicy because you never cut the pepperoncini open, you could just place them in at the end the heat will slightly seep out. Garnish with lemon slices.

Imagine this with some good crusty bread for dipping the juice, some imported cheese like provolone, olives and some Italian deli meats, heaven!

Have a great weekend and Buon Appetito!


Grazing on a Sunday Afternoon!

Hope all of you had a great Memorial Day weekend, we opted for a nice antipasto bar instead of grilling, you know, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The weather here in Chicagoland was picture perfect on Sunday, a great day to sit out in the fresh air.

No fuss, everything made ahead of time, and all could be eaten at room temperature. Assorted olives, cheeses, salami, some good Italian bread, marinated artichokes, peperonata, zucchini parpadelle, green beans and pesto potato salad, orzo pasta salad, grilled eggplant with a smear of Boursin cheese then rolled up, and Stacey Snacks stuffed tomatoes with ricotta. Note* (hers looked better she had panko on top, I didn’t have any at the time).

Oh, did I mention the pitchers of frozen Margarita’s were awesome too! I couldn’t resist taking a few sips before I shot the photo!

Buon Appetito Everyone!