Roasted Artichokes

I just love Artichokes! I recently rediscovered them and forgot how delicious and fun they could be! They make a great appetizer or side dish and can be roasted or baked.

When choosing an artichoke make sure you choose those that are green with no brown spotting and who’s leaves are formed tightly together. You do not want to bring home any spotty loose leafed artichokes.

When preparing artichokes for an appetizer I choose 1 small to medium artichoke per guest. I chose to roast them instead of baking them mostly because I’ve tried to bake them with a breadcrumb stuffing and have never been able to master this …. so my theory just roast them and forget baking!

To roast your artichokes:

You must first start out by cutting the stem to about 1 inch from the bottom of the artichoke and trim the lower leaves from the stem. Then cut about one inch off the top and using your kitchen shears trim the pointy tops from each of the remaining leaves. Next, depending on the size of the artichoke, cut down the center and then either quarter each half or cut in eighths. At this point you will see the fuzzy choke in the center. Using a sharp paring knife scrape all of the choke from the center down to the heart.

Now that your artichokes have been trimmed and cleaned, cut about 2 to 3 lemons in half and throw in a large pot of boiling water, give it a stir and add all of your artichoke sections to the boiling water and boil until tender.  The lemons will keep the artichokes from turning brown and also adds a little acid to the taste of the artichokes.

Once your artichokes are tender remove them from the water using a slotted spoon and place in a dish to cool slightly.

This would be a great time to make your dipping sauce. I make a very simple mayo based sauce that my guys love! I take about 1 cup of my homemade mayo, black pepper, garlic powder and a pinch of salt. You can add the seasonings to taste or add your own spice. It’s very simple creamy and delicious! After you mix your sauce, cover and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

Now for the finishing finale! Heat a large cast iron skillet with a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil. Make sure your skillet is nice and hot. Place your artichoke sections down on the skillet and roast until they have a nice color to them. You want to roast them until they are just past a golden color but be very careful not to overcook them or they will burn. Remove them from the pan and plate with a side of dipping sauce and a lemon slice. Voila! You have a delicious appetizer that will definately impress!

Not quite sure how to eat artichokes?

This is where the fun begins … all you have to do is pull a leaf off, dip the bottom portion in your dipping sauce and pull the leaf through your front teeth. You will feel this soft bundle of yummy goodness towards the end of the leaf. As you go through your leaves you are left with the best part of the artichoke and that is the coveted artichoke heart! Just pull it away from the rest of the stock, dip and let that yummy goodness hit your tongue! Ooooo laaaa laaa!

Have you tried roasting artichokes? What was your experience?

See you in the comments,

Mrs. R

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