Don’t be Intimidated! Cooking Delicious Artichokes is SO Easy: 3 Great Recipes

In Europe in the mid 1500’s, consumption of the artichoke was considered scandalous because it was reputed to be an aphrodisiac. Wild.

These days, you won’t scandalize anyone by chowing down on these luscious springtime veggies. Though you may woo the lucky artichoke eater with their supreme yumminess. Artichokes entice with a subtle, earthy, and awesome flavor that shines when generously dressed with great salt (fleur de sel!), serious Fairway olive oil, and/or vinegar.

Spiny, tough, and thistly ‘chokes can intimidate even a confident cook. But treat an artichoke right–it’s way simpler than you imagine!–and you will be rewarded with a succulent delicacy. Artichokes are chock full of essential nutrients like fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Choosing globes that are dark green, heavy, and have tight leaves will yield the best results for your meal. Now get cooking! 

Steam Em!

Wash well. Cut off the stems close to the base, and the lower petals that are small and tough. Cut off the top inch of the artichoke and rub with half a lemon to preserve the green color. Place the artichokes in a big pot full of steaming water, bottom up. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Grill ‘Em!

Steam first. Use a pastry brush to brush the artichoke all over with Fairway extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Place the artichoke halves cut-side-down on the grill grates. Cover and grill for about 5 minutes, until you have pretty grill marks. Yum!

To Serve: Dip in melted butter, or your fave Fairway EVOO dressed up with fresh herbs.

Or even better, make this company-worthy, show-stopping dish from Fairway’s own super-talented Chef Vinny Olivieri.

Chef Vinny’s Stuffed Artichokes

Serves: 6

  • 6 Artichokes
  • 2 Lemons
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ Fairway seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Fairway extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 6 anchovy filets, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 6 Kalamata olives
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the stem of the artichoke off.  Lay each artichoke on its side and cut away the top pointy ends of the leaves.  Cut lemon in half and rub artichoke with lemon on all the areas that were cut while squeezing some of the juice out.
  3. Place the artichokes and remainder of lemon in the pot of boiling water and reduce the heat to a slow simmer.  Simmer artichokes for 25 minutes or until tender.  When the outer leaves pull off easily, they’re done.
  4. Heat butter in a small sauté pan.  Add in garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Add in bread crumbs, anchovies, oregano, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and olive oil.  Mix well and set aside.
  5. Drain artichokes well and place upside down on a sheet pan.  Gently press down to open up the leaves.  The center of the artichoke has pointy leaves.  Remove them to expose the heart.  Drop a kalamata olive into each artichoke heart.  Pat in bread crumb mixture, getting it into every open leaf.
  6. Place stuffed artichokes into a casserole pan.  Pour chicken stock in the bottom.  Drizzle some olive oil on top of the bread crumbs.  Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

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