My family really likes artichokes. Normally, I steam and serve them with a dill sauce. Cook’s Illustrated this month had a baked artichoke recipe that would go nicely with the Middle Eastern Feast I am making for Mother’s Day. It is so simple and hands-off; it is perfect for finishing off in the oven while I am concentrating on the barbequing the game hens. For once, I actually followed someone’s instructions.
After Dinner Note: These came out phenomenally. They were the most tender, flavorful artichokes we had ever had.
4 large artichokes
2 Tbs. olive oil
Pinch black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
1. Move the oven rack to the lower middle rung and preheat the oven to 475° F.
Juice a lemon and put the juice and lemon halves in a large bowl of water.
Tip: The bowl should be large enough to hold the artichokes.
2. Trim the artichokes and cut them in half, top to bottom.
Tip: Remove most of the stem, the top third of the leaves and the outer layers of tough leaves.
3. Scoop out the fluffy “choke” and place each half in the bowl of water.
4. Oil a large baking pan.
Tip: The pan should be large enough to hold all of the artichoke halves without crowding.
5. Drizzle the olive oil between the leaves of each artichoke half and sprinkle a bit of pepper and salt into the leaves.
6. Lay the artichokes cut side down on the baking pan.
7. Cut the remaining lemon into quarters and add it to the baking pan.
8. Cover the pan tightly with foil and roast it for 30-35 minutes.
Tip: The artichokes are done when a knife slides easily into the center of the artichoke heart.
9. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the roasted lemons.
Tip: This dish did not need any fancy sauce; a squeeze of juice from the roasted lemon was all the dressing they needed.