Artichokes. I love them, in every way.
Growing up in an Italian family meant eating artichokes often. And we ate them one way only. This was my family’s most treasured bite of food – the stuffed artichoke. Brimming with bubbly cheese, loads of garlic and Italian style breadcrumbs. Something I would literally fight my brothers and sister for. Who got more, who ate the last one. Stuffed artichokes were everything.
Nowadays I make it like that for special occasions only. Not because I don’t love it. Because I do, I’m obsessed with it. But because let’s be honest, it’s certainly not the healthiest option. One day, perhaps I’ll share this family recipe with you. But for now, we’re doing a lot of these steamed, brushed with a fresh olive oil and basil sauce and then broiled. The simplest, freshest, most honest artichoke you’ll ever eat.
- 2 large artichokes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Artichokes can be fairly dirty vegetables. I like to give them a warm water bath with some produce wash or lemon juice for a few minutes to draw out any excess dirt. Prepare the artichokes by trimming about an inch off the top and cut off the stem. Now trim each individual leaf with kitchen shears and slice lengthwise.
- Place your artichokes in the bottom of a large pot and add an inch of two of water. Bring to boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 – 25 minutes. The artichoke will be cooked when you can easily remove a leaf and its meat is tender. Remove the artichokes from the water and set upside down on tea towel while you’re preparing the basil spread.
- In a food processor combine the olive oil, basil, garlic cloves, remaining tablespoon of lemon juice and good pinch of salt and pepper, process until smooth. Now cut the artichokes again, so you have 8 pieces. Brush the tops with the basil spread and roast in the oven uncovered for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.