I saw artichokes at the store this morning. Purple, even… At 99¢ a piece, I had to get a couple.

When we were kids, artichokes were steamed and the leaves dipped in mayonnaise. That was the one and only way to eat an artichoke that I knew. They were grown just south of San Francisco in what is now Serramonte – they liked the combination of sun and fog down there. That was pre-freeway, pre-shopping center, and pretty much pre-history. There isn’t 10 square feet of land left down there to grow anything.

Over the years I’ve learned to cook and eat them in any number of ways – Victor stuffs them or we steam them and have any number of fun dipping sauces, but this is the first time I oven-braised them. It shan’t be the last!

I wanted to find something a little different – and I did! These are a take on a Martha Stewart recipe I found online.

Oven Braised Artichokes

adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1 lemon
  • 6 artichokes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (from about 5 cloves)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large bowl, juice lemon. Fill with water and add the lemon back in.

Trim tough outer leaves of artichoke and peel stem. Trim off top, slice in half, and remove the fuzzy choke.

Quickly place in lemon water.

Drain artichokes and place, cut side up, in a wide, shallow ovenproof pan. Pour wine, oil, and water over artichokes and sprinkle with garlic, herbs, red pepper flakes, and S&P. Bring to a boil, cover, and place in oven. Braise until artichokes are tender, about 45 minutes.

Drizzle with the pan juices, and enjoy!

They were pretty outstanding, if I do say so, m’self! Lots and lots of flavor, the heart and the stem were tender, and the leaves had a mildly-garlicky, herby slightly spicy hint to them. They really were good.

I used a Pinot Grigio – my white cooking wine of choice – and it imparted just the right flavor. Sicilian olive oil – of course – and the red pepper flakes came from peppers in our garden last summer. The amount of garlic may seem excessive, but it works – with no harsh garlic taste.

It doesn’t get any better…

Well… actually, it does… Victor’s birthday is Wednesday. I just made a Walnut Cream Cake that originated in a kitchenware/cafe named Bon Appetit in Philadelphia years – and years – ago.

Details at 11. Or Wednesday night…