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Roasted Artichokes: Unruly Beauties with a Heart of Gold

Roasted Artichokes

There are a lot of ways to cook artichokes. The size and type of the artichokes are factors to consider. The tiny purple artichokes that show up at farmers markets this time of year are terrific fried in olive oil. They’re also tender enough to be trimmed, sliced razor thin, and eaten raw. But what about the more intimidating (much larger) Globe Artichokes? They come in colors that range from pale green, through purple, to almost black. These beauties are most often steamed. Which is delicious. But I find roasted artichokes express their uniquely nutty flavor even better.

Before we discuss roasted artichokes I think we need to address an obvious fact: Artichokes look menacing. The biggest and scariest of them have pointy tips that are capable of drawing blood if handled too casually. After all an artichoke is a thistle, and thistle is not an appetizing word. So I understand why you often stare at the artichoke in your produce section, pondering how just how to handle this unruly beauty without actually picking it up. I also understand why you often walk away– feeling defeated.

The artichoke is one of the most delicately flavored vegetables. I know you love its distinctive taste. However, the best artichokes have a relatively short season that peaks in May. Each week you stand there pondering, the roasted artichoke window is closing. So before you walk away from an artichoke one more time, I want to remind you that the artichoke’s rough exterior is hiding a heart of green gold.

Roasted Artichokes

This version of Roasted Artichokes is adapted from a traditional Italian method where the artichokes are dressed with bold flavors then cooked in the embers of a wood fire. Which would certainly be special. However, this classic Italian method is easily handled at home in a very hot oven. GREG

Purple ArtichokesRoasted ArtichokesThese Purple Artichokes were supplied to me by Melissa’s Produce. I received no other compensation.

Roast Artichokes

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2Source Adapted from SaveurPublished
Roasted Artichokes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes (or more to taste)
  • 4 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 globe artichokes

Directions

Place the oven rack in the center position then preheat oven to 500° F.

In a 2‑cup or larger pitcher, whisk together oil, wine, oregano, chile flakes, garlic, salt and pepper until emulsified.

Cut 1‑inch off the top of each artichoke and gently pull leaves apart to open. If there’s some stem attached trim it off so that the artichoke can sit upright. Then place the artichokes, standing up on their bases, in a small roasting dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. You may peel the stems and place them in the dish as well.

Pour half of the oil mixture over each artichoke, making sure the liquid reaches in between all leaves. Cover with the dish with aluminum foil, and roast for 45 minutes. Uncover, and continue to roast, basting often with juices, until well-browned and tender; about 20 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving with the pan juices on the side for dipping.