There’s something about those little artichokes that just makes me want to fill up a bag and take them home to my kitchen. Problem is that I rarely see them at my local farmers’ market. There are a few vendors selling large artichokes so why can’t they do the smaller ones? You’ll find them everywhere in the Italian markets during the spring.
Luckily I did locate them at the famed Chino Farms located nearby in Rancho Santa Fe. This amazing farm is certainly worth a detour and whatever the season you will find the freshest and most interesting array of vegetables.
Lemon Braised Artichokes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic, smashed
kosher salt and pepper
2 medium artichokes-I used 8 baby artichokes
Heat oven to 350° F.
In a medium Dutch oven, combine the oil, lemon juice, onion, thyme, garlic, ¼ cup water, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Trim the top and bottom of each artichoke. Using scissors, snip the tip off each leaf. Cut the artichokes into quarters and scoop out the fuzzy chokes. For the baby artichokes trim the top and bottom and pull of the outer leaves until you get down to the pale center leaves. Cut artichokes in half. These cooked in about 35 minutes.
Toss the artichokes in the oil mixture. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Divide among individual plates and spoon the cooking liquid over the top.
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The artichokes won’t be in season but what about porcini mushrooms???