Despite the chilly weather, which others assure me will end at some point, Spring seems to be popping up. The trees in Chelsea are showing signs of budding, it’s slowly getting warmer, and the Spring fruit vegetables are popping in stores. I absolutely love Spring produce. It seems that every year, as I broaden my food horizons, I get excited by all the new things I can cook with and the possibilities of what to do with them seem endless!
I saw these the other day and immediately scooped them up. Who doesn’t love a tiny vegetable? The problem with standard artichokes is that, while delicious, they take a lot of time to prep. Between the trimming of the outer leaves and the inside pointy leaves, they’re not exactly a dish for a busy week night. Once cooked, they’re not so easy to eat, either.
Since these are smaller, they’re a bit easier to prepare. In under 5 minutes, I was able to trim the ends of these baby artichokes and pull off the outer leaves so that they were roasting ready. We used to eat artichokes every Easter at the end of our meal and we often so full it seemed like a challenge to finish one. These are a more manageable side dish that’s so good I even stole a few off of Alex’s plate.
roasted baby artichokes
makes 3-4 servings
12 baby artichokes
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 tablespoons juice)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Fill a medium sized bowl with ice water and the juice of a lemon. One by one, trim the top ½”-3/4” of the artichokes with a serrated knife, trim the very end of the stem off, and pull the outer leaves off until you reach the leaves that are a light yellow color. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and place them in the lemon water so that they don’t oxidize (turn brown) while you trim the rest of them. When you’ve prepped all of the baby artichokes, blanch them (drop them in a pot of boiling water) for 3 minutes. Drain them well and toss them in the remaining ingredients. Spread them in one layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. At 15 minutes you can test the outer leaves to ensure that they pull off easily and are easy to chew. Serve as a side dish or over a salad.