Braised artichokes

Braised artichokes

By
From
How I cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Artichokes start to appear in shops and markets around the end of February. I prefer to use the smaller ones with tightly closed buds and very often purple-tipped leaves; the heart inside is usually tender with hardly any choke. Select artichokes that feel heavy for their size, without any discolouration or bruising. If you are preparing the artichokes ahead, immerse them in a bowl of cool water with a little lemon juice added – this will prevent them from discolouring.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 artichokes, stalks intact
salt and
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
small handful mint, leaves only, finely chopped
small handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
250ml verjus or dry white wine

Method

  1. To prepare the artichokes, tear off the tough outer leaves by pulling them down to the stem. Keep going until you come to the soft leaves in the centre that are attached to the heart. Now, using a small sharp knife, trim the heart and slice off the end of the stalk 2–3cm below the base of the heart. Trim off the pointy tips of the leaves. Slice the artichokes in half lengthways and scoop out any hairy choke, using a teaspoon. Season the artichoke halves with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a heavy-based pan over a low heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the artichoke halves in the pan – they should fit quite tightly. Sprinkle with the garlic, mint and parsley, and add the bay leaf. Turn the heat up slightly. Once the pan is sizzling, pour in the verjus or wine.
  3. Place a lid on the pan, turn the heat right down and cook gently for 25–30 minutes until the artichokes are tender and the liquid is more or less evaporated. Remove the lid, turn up the heat once more and drizzle over the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook over high heat for a minute or so, to allow the artichokes to brown a little. Serve at once.

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