Artichoke Recipes
RECIPES
Artichokes with Lemon and Parsley
Artichokes with Fava Beans (or Peas)

Orzo with Artichokes and Pine Nuts
Artichoke Pesto
Artichoke Gratin


Artichokes with Lemon and Parsley
Artichokes are popular throughout Italy but particularly among the Romans.  The tasty flower, a member of the thistle family, is called carciifo in Italian.  During the
Renaissance, therapeutic powers were attributed to artichokes, including purification of the blood.  They were sold in herb and vegetable stores at high prices, and
only the very prosperous were able to afford them.  Today many health benefits are still attributed to the plant but the cost of them is more affordable.

Although fresh artichokes are available year-round in most markets, prime season is in spring, from March to May in the northern hemisphere. If you have never
cooked fresh artichokes before, they may seem a little intimidating.  See our instructions for trimming artichokes and a variety of methods for cooking artichokes.  
Frozen artichoke hearts are commonly available, have good flavor, and are real time savers.  You can also purchase artichoke hearts in cans and jars. These
artichokes are packed in water with salt and citric acid to act as preservatives.  Simply drain and rinse them and you are ready to go.  Canned artichokes are a
staple in our pantry.  For a quick meal they can be stirred  into pasta, pureed into a sauce, or added to a salad or sandwich.  Marinated artichoke hearts are tender
hearts that have been marinated in oil, and sometimes vinegar, with herbs added.  Marinated artichokes are usually packed in small jars and are generally used
in salads or added to an antipasto platter.  Only use marinated artichokes in a recipe when they are specifically mentioned as they don't substitute well for
unseasoned frozen or canned artichokes.
Artichokes with Fava Beans (or Peas)

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

12 fresh or frozen baby artichokes
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces blanched and skinned fava beans or peas
Salt and pepper
1 heaping tablespoon chopped parsley

Directions:


If you are using fresh artichokes:
Remove and discard the outer leaves until you reach the pale green leaves.
Cut about 1/2-inch off the top of the artichokes.  Peel the stems.
Cut the artichokes into quarters and place them in a bowl of water with lemon juice.

Drain the artichokes and reserve the lemon water.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the parsley sprig and garlic; saute for 1 minute.
Add the drained artichokes and 1/2 cup of lemon water.
Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes over low heat until the artichokes are tender.
(If using frozen artichokes, do not add water and cook for only 5 minutes.)
Add the fava beans or peas and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Orzo with Artichokes and Pine Nuts

(Serves 4)

Although the inclusion of oil and vinegar in this recipe may cause you to believe that this tastes like a pasta salad, it does not.  It is served warm and makes a great side dish with fish or roasted chicken.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups orzo
2 to 3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 (14 ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Directions:

Cook the orzo according to package directions.
In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts until lightly golden.
In a bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Add the cooked orzo, pine nuts, parsley, and lemon zest.
Stir to combine and serve.
Artichoke Pesto

(Makes about 2 cups)

Artichoke pesto is wonderful as a sauce for pasta.  We particularly enjoy it with a fresh egg dough fettuccine but it is good with any string-type pasta.  Stir the sauce into the pasta and then add some of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.  Artichoke pesto also makes a great  topping on bruschetta.  Use it alone or top it with some cheese and run it under the  broiler until the cheese melts.You can also top baked or grilled fish or poultry with this pesto for a delicious new twist on a simple recipe.

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

Put the garlic and pistachios in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the artichokes, parsley, cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse again until the artichokes are coarsely chopped.
Add the olive oil and process the mixture has a paste-like uniform consistency. Check the seasoning. The pesto should be slightly lemony, but the artichoke and pistachio flavors should dominate.
Artichoke Gratin

(Serves 4)

This gratin recipe has origins in Sardinia and it must be made with fresh artichokes. It makes a nice side dish with grilled steak or as part of an antipasto platter.

Ingredients:

12 small fresh artichokes
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Remove and discard the outer leaves of the artichokes.
Peel the stems and cut off the pointed ends of the leaves.
Cut the artichokes lengthwise in half and remove the chokes.
Put the artichokes in a bowl of water with lemon to prevent discoloration.

Add the lemon juice to 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Add the artichokes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Drain and place the artichokes in a baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the parsley and garlic.
Stir in the ricotta, egg, bread crumbs, and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the ricotta mixture over each artichoke; drizzle with olive oil
Bake for 20 minutes or until the ricotta has browned and the artichokes are tender. Serve, hot, at room temperature, or cold.
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THE ARTICHOKE CAPITAL
OF THE WORLD
The small town of Castroville, California, which is on the coast in Monterey County, proclaims itself to be the Artichoke Capital of the World.  Neary 100% of all artichokes grown commercially in the US are grown in CA.  Approximately 75% of the state's total artichoke growing acreage lies within Monterey County.  Castroville celebrates the harvest with an Artichoke Festival held each year usually in May.  In 1947, a young woman names Norma Jean was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen. Norma Jean is better known as Marilyn Monroe.
ARTICHOKES  (CARCIOFI)
Native to the Mediterranean, the artichoke is harvested year-round, but more than half of the crop is harvested between March and May. The fall crop usually peaks in October. The central coast of California, where winters are relatively frost-free and summers are cool and moist with fog, is an ideal growing area for the artichoke.  The vegetable that we eat is actuallly the plant's flower bud.  Most people cook the whole artichoke and slip each petal, one by one, through their teeth until they reach the tender heart which is entirely edible.  If you're intimidated by these spring delights, you're not alone. But once you learn the simple procedure, preparing whole artichokes is really very easy.
Nearly Natural Artichoke Artificial Flower, 5-Inch, Green, Set of 6
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Artichokes with Lemon and Parsley
Artichokes with Lemon and Parsley

(Serves 2 to 4)

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 whole fresh artichokes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 scallions, chopped
1-1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon water

Directions:

Fill a bowl with water and add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Remove tough outer leaves from the artichokes.  Trim the ends of the remaining leaves and cut off the top 1-inch of the artichoke.  Cut the artichoke in half vertically and scrape out the choke.  Place the artichokes in the lemon-water.

Heat the oil in a wide, shallow saucepan.  Add the scallions, and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add the water, sugar, salt, and remaining lemon juice.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove the artichokes from the lemon-water and add to the saucepan.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the artichokes to a serving dish; reserve the liquid in the saucepan.

Combine the tablespoon of flour with the tablespoon of water to a smooth paste.  Whisk the mixture into the reserved liquid.  Return the saucepan to the heat and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, pour over the artichokes, and serve.
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Artichokes Stuffed with Breadcrumbs, Olives, Parmesan, Capers, and Herbs
GARLIC BREAD
Garlic Bread
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Split a loaf of Italian bread lengthwise into 2 pieces.  Place the bread, cut side up, on a baking sheet.  Stir together finely minced fresh garlic and softened butter.  Spread over both pieces of bread.  Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley over the top.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown.

NOTE:
Some people cringe at the idea of using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, but for this recipe I find that it works eqaully as well. Simply spread the butter over the bread, sprinkle generously with garlic powder, add the Parmesan and parsley, and bake.

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