This kitchen project delivers both flavor and texture unlike any store-bought artichokes. Home-canned, marinated artichoke hearts liven up pizza, a salad or a sandwich.
Beware: The tannins in raw artichoke will stain your hands. Lemon juice will remove the stain.
You'll need 3 sanitized pint jars with new lids and rings; see the NOTE, below.
Make Ahead: The artichokes need 1 month to cure, during which time their texture changes from firm to velvety while their structure is retained. If you choose to skip the water-bath canning called for here, refrigerate the sealed jars of artichokes for 1 month before serving. (Artichokes that are not water-bath-canned will not achieve the same silky texture as those that are.) The water-bath-canned jars of artichokes need to cool for 12 hours. They are shelf stable for 1 year. Once opened, the jars should be refrigerated and used within a month.
Servings: 9 - 15
Yield: (makes 3 pints)
- 4 lemons
- 9 medium or 15 baby artichokes
- 1/4 cup plus 3 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup mild olive oil, or more as needed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, root ends trimmed
- Three 1-inch strips lemon zest
Halve and juice the lemons. Place the spent lemon halves in a 5-quart nonreactive (not aluminum or copper) pot; fill it with cold water. Strain and reserve the juice for the marinade.
To trim the artichokes, pull the leaves from each one, snapping them where they naturally break. Use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to peel the choke, then make a clean cut across the end of the stem, retaining the tender portion. Use a grapefruit spoon, melon baller or side of a teaspoon to scrape away the fuzzy choke, revealing the meaty part of it, then quarter the entire choke. (For baby artichokes, trim only to any inner leaves without a thorn.) As each choke is trimmed, drop it into the pot.
Add 1/4 cup of salt. Bring the pot filled with lemon water and artichokes to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the water is barely bubbling. Cook, uncovered, until fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the marinade: Combine the reserved lemon juice, vinegars, oil, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic cloves in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the artichokes to the sanitized jars, dividing evenly and stacking the small ones and first cutting the medium ones into quarters. Tuck them in as tightly as possible without breaking or bruising.
Whisk the marinade well and divide among the jars. If there is not enough marinade to cover, add oil as needed to leave 1/2 inch headspace at the top of each jar. Make sure 1 garlic clove, 1 strip of lemon zest and 1 teaspoon salt goes into each jar.
Run a chopstick or flat plastic knife along the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Clean the rim of each jar with distilled white vinegar to cut residual oils, place the warmed lids on and finger-tighten the rings (not too tight). Process in the boiling water bath for 15 minutes (see NOTE, below). Turn off the heat and let the jars rest in the pot for 10 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the jars to a clean, folded dish towel to cool over several hours.
Store the water-bath-canned jars in a cool space to cure for 1 month.
NOTE: Water-bath canning safely seals high acid, low pH foods in jars. The time for processing in the water-bath is calculated based on the size of the jar and the consistency and density of the food. For safety's sake, do not alter the jar size, ingredients, ratios or processing time in any canning recipes. If moved to change any of these items, simply put the prepared food in the refrigerator and eat within a week.
Fill a large canning kettle or deep stockpot two-thirds full with water. To keep the jars from rattling against the pot, place a rack in the pot (a cake rack works well, or a folded dish towel is equally effective). Sanitize the jars in a short dishwasher cycle or by boiling them in a canning kettle or pot for 10 minutes. Fill a small saucepan with water and add the rings. Bring to a boil over high heat, slip in the lids and turn off the heat.
Use a jar lifter or tongs to lower the filled, sealed jars upright into the boiling water-bath. When all the jars are in place, the water should be 1 to 2 inches above the top of the jar. Add water as needed. Bring the water to a low boil before starting the timer for processing.
At the end of processing, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water bath until the boiling has stopped. This will reduce siphoning -- when the food burbles up under the lid, breaking the seal. Use the jar lifter or tongs to transfer the jars to a folded towel, placed upright. Leave the jars until they have completely cooled, at least 12 hours. Remove the rings and test the seal by lifting the jar by the lid. The lid should hold fast. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark space.
From Cathy Barrow, author of "Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving" (Norton, November 2014).
Tested by Cathy Barrow.
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