2000s Recipes + Menus

Artichokes Braised in Lemon and Olive Oil

Serves8 (first course or side dish)
  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:1 1/4 hr
November 2008
Simmered and later sauced in a lemony olive oil spiced with fennel and coriander seeds, artichokes absorb a complex blend of gorgeous flavors. The tender, juicy hearts bronze in a hot skillet just before serving, adding depth to this delicate dish.
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 8 medium artichokes
  • 3 small shallots, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 strips lemon zest (see Cooking Tips)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Trim artichokes into hearts:

  • Add lemon halves to a large bowl of cold water, squeezing to release juice.
  • Cut off top inch of 1 artichoke and bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base (keep stem attached). Discard several more layers in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves.
  • Peel sides of stem down to pale inner core. Put in lemon water while preparing remaining artichokes.
  • Cook shallots, carrot, garlic, and seeds in 1/4 cup oil in a 4- to 5-qt heavy pot (pot should be wide enough to hold artichokes in 1 layer with stems pointing upward) over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add water, zest, and 3 Tbsp lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Stand artichokes in pot and season with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cover artichokes with wax paper, then a lid, and simmer over medium-low heat until bases are just tender when pierced with a knife, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Transfer artichokes to a dish and reserve cooking liquid. When artichokes are cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise. Scoop out and discard inner choke (fuzzy center and any sharp leaves).
  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown cut sides of artichokes in 2 batches, about 2 minutes per batch, transferring to a serving dish. Add reserved cooking liquid to skillet along with remaining Tbsp lemon juice and remaining 2 Tbsp oil. Boil vigorously 3 minutes, then stir in parsley and pour over artichokes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cooks’ note: Artichokes can be braised 1 day ahead and chilled in cooking liquid. Reheat to warm before proceeding.
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