Artichokes are one of spring's treats and a traditional Sephardic side dish for Passover in Turkey. The green, earthy flavor and smooth texture pairs well with lemon, tomato and grilled flavors.
It takes a little patience to prep them, but the payoff is worth it. This dish is best served the same day it is made.
Servings: 8 - 10
- 1 large lemon, cut in quarters, plus the freshly squeezed juice from 2 or 3 lemons (1/2 cup)
- 4 large globe artichokes (12 to 14 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
- 1/4 medium roasted red bell pepper, cut into small dice (optional)
Fill a very large bowl with cold water; squeeze a few of the lemon quarters into the water, then place them in the bowl.
Rinse the artichokes. Snap off or use kitchen shears to trim all the crisp outer leaves and then slice off the center yellow leaves at the top.
Leave 1 to 2 inches of stem attached to each artichoke; cut off the rest and discard. Use a vegetable peeler to remove a thin layer from the remaining stems. Working quickly so the artichokes don’t discolor, use a grapefruit spoon or a melon-ball scooper to scoop out the choke, or thistle part, in the center of each artichoke, making sure to remove all fibers. Quickly transfer each trimmed artichoke to the bowl of acidulated water.
Once all the artichokes are trimmed, work with them one at a time, cutting them in half and then again, so each artichoke is quartered.
Preheat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the artichokes cut side down, fitting them snugly into the pan. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, repositioning the artichokes in the pan as needed so each one picks up golden color. Season lightly with salt.
Stir in the lemon juice, honey and water; cover partially, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. The liquid should thicken slightly, and the artichokes will be tender.
Transfer to a platter. Spoon some of the sauce over the artichokes. If desired, garnish with the parsley and red bell pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from California cooking instructor Linda Capeloto Sendowski.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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