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Kitchen Tip: How to Prepare Baby Artichokes

Kitchen Tip: How to Prepare Baby Artichokes


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Spring is prime time for baby artichokes—those tender beauties with their nutty flavor. Our editor recently used them on a pizza, microwaving them first for 5 minutes to ensure they got fully tender. Roasting is another great way to cook them; serve as a side dish, or toss with pasta and olive oil for a main (Try Pan-Roasted Artichokes with Lemon and Garlic). And though we love full-grown artichokes, there’s a special place in our hearts for these little ones; they’re quicker to cook and prep, making them totally doable on even a busy weeknight. Here, Test Kitchen Manager Tiffany Vickers Davis shows how to prepare these babies.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Steamed Baby Artichokes In Feta Vinaigrette

Steamed Baby Artichokes In Feta Vinaigrette

Baby artichokes are not really babies at all, but rather fully mature dwarf buds. They are plentiful from March through May. They are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and fully edible. The fresh tang of the feta in the herb vinaigrette gives these artichokes a bright springtime character.

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Minced Shallot

6 Baby Artichokes (About The Size Of A Large Plum)

In a medium size saucepan combine the white wine, lemon juice and shallot. Snap off and throw away 3 or 4 outer leaves from each artichoke until the remaining leaves are pale green and tightly closed. Using a small paring knife, trim the base of the artichoke and peel the stem. Remove only a thin layer of tough outer skin and any discoloration. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and trim 1/2 inch off their tops. As you prepare them place the artichokes, cut side down, in the saucepan. Bring the wine liquid to a simmer over a medium high heat. Cover and steam the artichokes for 10 to 12 minutes until the flesh around the stem of each artichoke is easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain the artichokes, arrange them cut side up on a serving platter and spoon a generous teaspoon of the vinaigrette over each artichoke half. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4


CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE RECIPE

Into the Roman cuisine, the artichoke is a serious matter: this ingredient is considered the king of the vegetable garden! Actually, like the majority of the Roman recipes, the Carciofo alla Romana had a humble origin linked with the peasant culture. Until the end of the First World War, the plantation of the Roman Artichokes called Mammole or Cimaroli had been limited to the small private vegetable gardens. So the fame of Carciofo alla Romana was circumscribed to the region of Lazio and considered a niche recipe.

The ingredients of Carciofi alla Romana are essential: just a few fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil: common ingredients easy to find into every kitchen of Rome. Visiting Rome, particularly in the spring, every traditional restaurant offers the Carciofi alla Romana: if there is not in the menu, just do not enter!


Artichokes

Also known as globe artichokes, these prickly veggies are actually edible flower buds in the thistle family. They grow on stalks, with a large bud at the top and smaller ones below. The smallest buds are sold as "baby artichokes." (Sunchokes, which also go by the misleading name of Jerusalem artichokes, come from an unrelated plant—a variety of sunflower.)

Artichokes are available year round, but they peak between March and May. Look for buds that are heavy for their size with a tight leaf formation. The leaves should squeak when you press them together, but avoid buds that look too dry. As for color, a browning isn't good, but a slight discoloration caused by frost is okay. Small artichokes are often more tender rounder bulbs have larger hearts.

Keep artichokes unwashed in the fridge for up to 4 days. Wash just before you cook them. Covered and refrigerated, cooked artichokes will last up to 3 days.

Trimming artichokes takes work, but getting to the tender inner leaves and heart is worth it.

First, fill a large bowl with water. Then add the juice of half a lemon, dropping the trimmed artichokes in lemon water helps to prevent browning.

  1. Pull off the tough outer leaves, and cut off the stem of each artichoke. Cut off 1 inch from the top of each artichoke. With scissors, cut off about 1/2 inch from the tip of each leaf.
  2. Rub cut surfaces with lemon.
  3. Separate the leaves to get to the center of the artichoke. Pull out the purple leaves, exposing the prickly choke. With a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the prickly choke from each artichoke. Drop prepared artichokes into the bowl of lemon water until ready to use.
  1. Cut a scant 1 inch from the top of each artichoke. Trim the stem to 1/2 inch.
  2. Pull off the tough outer leaves until you get to the pale green ones.
  3. Halve each baby artichoke lengthwise. Rub cut surfaces with lemon.
  4. Quarter each half. Drop each wedge into lemon water until ready to use.

Some people prefer steamed artichokes to boiled ones. To steam, set trimmed bulbs upside down on a steaming tray over boiling water.

Cooking time for artichokes varies depending on their size. Boil or steam until a leaf comes out fairly easily when tugged, usually 30-40 minutes.

If you plan to serve them cool, put artichokes in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and then drain them upside down on a dish towel in the fridge.

If you're not entirely sure how to consume this prickly vegetable, don't feel foolish. Everyone has a dubious first encounter with artichokes.


Microwave in Minutes

The microwave is a well-utilized and readily available kitchen appliance that yields equally tender artichokes and requires very little prep time. When you already have a protein baking in the oven and mashed potatoes on the stove, turn to the microwave for a quick artichoke appetizer. Place the trimmed artichokes stem-side down on a microwave safe dish with your seasonings of choice, add an inch of water, then cover with plastic wrap before popping into the microwave. We truly believe the microwave will always be an infallible method for preparing our favorite green veggie!

Recipe highlight: For those that like to dip, we suggest pairing your artichoke leaves with our Chermoula Mayonnaise or Rosemary-Lemon Sauce .


MY KITCHEN IN SPAIN

Fried is my favourite - I always order them on a menú del día. I've also had fantastic baby artichokes (several times) at a restaurant in Barceloneta, called La Mar Salada, where they are stuffed with bone marrow and a poached quail egg, then decorated with salmon roe.

Mad Dog: Now that sounds very tasty. What a versatile vegetable is the artichoke!

I love artichokes in spring, for us at the moment a whole four months away. Almost always cook them as you usually do - cut the top 1/3 off, trim the tops of the leaves, gently boil and make a delightful mess dipping them into a herby oil mix sucking each leaf with huge pleasure ! I do not think I have seen as small ones as you are able to get and am somewhat in the anti-fry brigade . . . but DO like the look of yours. Have never met an artichoke with a choke one could disregard. But this is an interesting challenge for next spring - can I replicate and try ?

Eha: The tiny artichokes are the second growth after the first buds have been picked. They're cute, but too much trouble to trim down to the hearts. When your season rolls around, have a go at frying them--very easy.


5. Serve with Your Sauce of Choice

When they’re tender, cut the artichokes in half, season and dress with vinaigrette, melted butter, or another favorite dipping sauce. Or, just plunk a head onto each plate. Dinner, done!

Christensen shares how her mom used to make them: “My mom would steam them whole and then we’d all enjoy pulling the petals off and dipping them into lemon-spiked mayo. It’s such a simple way to serve them, but so delicious. And more than that, I loved the communal aspect of it—everyone sitting around the table eating and talking and working together to get to the artichoke heart. Later on, as I began to cook professionally, I began to enjoy them as an element in more complex preparations. I especially love barigoule, the French braised artichoke dish, which I usually top with lots of fresh herbs and maybe some seared fish.”

Baby Purple Artichokes: Small Size, Big Heart

Cheatham also remembers some of the more complex methods from past kitchen gigs: “In restaurants, we’re usually using full-sized artichokes, which are not as tender as baby artichokes to say the least. I’ve had to prepare a roux-based liquid (called a blanc) to hold and cook them in peel several layers of leaves, clean them down to the heart, and cook the heart (with peeled stem still attached) until tender. From there, the artichokes have been confit, poached, stuffed, marinated, a la barigoule, panaché (sliced thinly and fanned out), and any other preparation one can dream up. All of which can be daunting as each batch usually called for 3 cases.”


Laura’s Best Recipes


I am in the middle of reading the most wonderful cookbook … A Platter of Figs and other recipes by David Tanis. And when I say I’m “reading” a cookbook, I mean I’m actually reading it a page at a time from start to finish. It’s wonderfully well-written with a refreshing and simplistic perspective of cooking and spending time with friends. Although Mr. Tanis is the head chef of one of America’s premier restaurants, Chez Panisse, his recipes are not elitist or over-complicated expressions of a celebrity chef ego. It is his belief that the very best food is prepared simply and in the comfort of your home with good friends…. not in fancy restaurants. He is a big believer in seasonal cooking using what is most fresh and in season from local sources. I couldn’t agree more with his philosophy. Unlike other cookbooks, he constructs complete menus so that each course compliments the next for each season.

Even if you aren’t a “foodie” or chef, buy this book and try the recipes. You’ll thank me if you do. You will enjoy reading every page from cover to cover.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 pounds flank steak
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 pounds medium potatoes, such as Yellow Fin
  • 2 pounds baby artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound arugula, washed and dried
  • Lemon wedges
METHOD

1. Season the flank steak generously with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and massage in the seasoning.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least several hours, or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

3. Peel the potatoes and cut them into wedges. Boil the potatoes in salted water until just done (soft when pierced with the tip of a knife). Drain the potatoes and spread them on a baking sheet to cool.

4. To prepare the baby artichokes, cut off the tops and remove a few outer leaves from each to reveal the pale green centers. Trim the stem ends with a pairing knife. Slice the artichokes lengthwise 1/4 inch thick. Put the slices in a bowl of cool water. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon.

5. Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. While you wait for the grill to heat, pan-fry the artichokes and potatoes: Drain the artichoke slices and blot with a kitchen towel. Put a large skillet over a high flame. Add 1/2 inch of the olive oil and let it heat. Add the artichokes and stir them around in the oil for a minute or so. Add the potatoes and let them sizzle with the artichokes.

6. Turn the flame to medium, shaking the pan and stirring the vegetables, until they brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and let it sizzle without browning. Stir in the parsley and turn off the heat.

7. Grill the flank steak over hot coals. For a rare steak, cook about 4 minutes per side, just until juices begin to appear on the surface. Transfer to a platter and let the steak rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

8. Carve the flank steak in thin slices against the grain. Arrange the meat on a large warmed platter. Reheat the fried artichokes and potatoes if necessary and spoon around the steak. Garnish the platter with arugula leaves and lemon wedges.


Directions

If you're using fresh artichokes, fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into it. Reserve both lemon halves. Peel away any hard green leaves from each artichoke and slice off the top of each stem. Cut away the yellow leaves as close to the base as possible, then skin the base and the stem, removing the tough, green outside layer.

Remove the fuzzy "choke" (center part) with the tip of a knife and discard it. Cut each artichoke in half and rub the squeezed lemon half over all surfaces, then drop the artichokes into the bowl of water.

When all the artichokes are trimmed, drain and rinse them then place them in a pan with enough water to cover. Simmer, covered, over medium heat until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside. If you're using canned artichoke hearts, drain and set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, dice the artichokes and combine with the diced mozzarella. Add salt.

Peel the rind from the uncut lemon, being careful to keep it in one or two large pieces set aside. Juice this lemon and the remaining 1/2 lemon set aside the juice. When the artichoke mixture and pasta are ready, pour the milk into a small pot and add the lemon rind. Heat until the milk begins to bubble then remove the lemon rind and remove the pot from the heat.

In a separate pan, melt the butter or margarine over low heat and whisk in the flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring constantly. When all the flour has been added, continue to cook and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly add hot milk, stirring constantly. Add the reserved lemon juice. Over low heat, cook and stir until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread a little sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking pan. If you're using fresh pasta, roll each rectangle around a portion of the artichoke mixture and place the cannelloni in the baking pan if you're using uncooked cannelloni, prepare the pasta according to the package directions drain and let cool.

Stuff each piece with the artichoke mixture and place in the pan. Spread the remaining sauce over the top. Cover the pan with foil and bake 15 minutes.


More Keto Air Fryer Recipes

If you like these air fryer artichokes, you might also like some of these other air fryer recipes:

    – One secret ingredient that makes your wings super crispy! – These are as crispy as the real ones and made with just 7 ingredients! – The breading for this fried chicken is full of flavor – and no carbs! – Comes out super crispy. – No need to miss out on chili cheese fries, this is the healthy alternative that I know you’ll love.


Watch the video: Ριζότο με καρδιές Αγκινάρας - CUCINA CARUSO (July 2022).


Comments:

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