I love food that must be eaten slowly, deliberately. I love lobsters, whole fish, and artichokes. I dislike food that you tend to gobble up fast, like fast-food burgers and most sandwiches. But I like artichokes not just because it takes 20 minutes or so to eat one – I also love their intense, unique flavor and the way you slowly build your way from the outer, tougher leaves, through the inner, delicate, tasty leaves, all the way to the yummy heart. Plus, artichokes are good for you – they’re high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium.
This simple recipe for roasted artichokes takes some time, but in every other respect, it’s very easy. And the result is a tender, tasty artichoke, flavored with olive oil, lemon and garlic – a true delicacy.
- 4 large fresh artichokes
- 2 lemons, halved
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 tablespoon more for the foil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking dish with foil.
- Wash the artichokes thoroughly. Artichokes often have dirt between the leaves, so it's a good idea to soak them for a few minutes in warm water, then wash and dry.
- Trim the stem from each artichoke to 1-inch long, the use a serrated knife to cut the top inch of each artichoke (this won't be easy). Quickly rub the cut side with lemon, to prevent browning.
- Bend back and remove the outer, tough leaves, especially around the base. Then use scissors to cut off the sharp tips of the remaining leaves.
- Tear off four large pieces of heavy-duty foil. Rub each piece with a little olive oil and place an artichoke in the center, stem side down. Push two cloves of garlic deep into the center. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each artichoke, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and squeeze lemon juice on top.
- Wrap the foil tightly around each artichoke, making sure it's well-sealed. If you don't have heavy-duty foil, use two layers of regular foil. Place the wrapped artichokes in the prepared baking dish and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes (you'll know they're ready by the wonderful smell). Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before unwrapping and serving.
- Serve warm, with extra plates for discarding the leaves. I'm sure you already know this, but you don’t actually eat the entire leaf - you scrape off the tender inside with your teeth and discard the hard, inedible part. The best part is the artichoke heart, of course. But before enjoying it, remove and discard the small, fuzzy leaves on its top. Those are inedible. You can serve artichoke with mayonnaise or with any other dipping sauce, but I find it's unnecessary and tends to mask the amazing taste of the artichoke.