I’m throwing you for a loop today with health food all up in this place.
Yup. Beautiful, delicious, veggies.
Artichokes are just one more reason I need to visit Italy at some point in my life. Seriously… beautiful landscapes, beautiful people, beautiful language and beautiful vegetables. I mean, come on. Just look at it. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
This recipe is super simple, and the results are amazing. Don’t let the thought of prepping the artichoke intimidate you, all you need is a good sharp knife and a dull spoon.
So, let’s get to it…
Roasted Artichokes with Lemon and Garlic
2 fresh artichokes
4 cloves of garlic
Coarse ground sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. To clean the artichokes, run them under cold water to rinse any stray dirty from between the leaves. Using your sharp knife, cut off the top 1/3 of each artichoke, trim the tips off any excessively sharp leaves, then cut off the stem so you’ve got a flat base. They should look like this:
Using a sharp paring knife, cut the center of the artichoke out to create a nice resting place for your garlic. When you get close to the heart of the veggie, you’ll hit some fuzzy territory. Literally. Clean out as much of that as you can using your knife (and scrape with the side of a spoon.) Cut your garlic cloves in half and gently smash them a bit. Pop four pieces into each artichoke center. Next, gently spread the exterior leaves out a tiny bit, and squeeze lemon juice over the top of each artichoke, followed with a good drizzle of olive oil, making sure to get the flavor goodness down in between the leaves. Sprinkle with a good dusting of coarsely ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Yup, let the salt n’ pepper rain down.
Wrap each artichoke in it’s own sheet of aluminum foil, and seal it into a tight little bundle, then set them on a sheet pan and roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
When they’re finished roasting, they’ll look something like this:
See all of that roasted garlic in the center? Scoop that out and smash it into paste with the back of your trusty spoon. Um, incredible spread for garlic toast, folks.
Okay, to eat the artichoke, peel the individual leaves off and use your teeth to scrape the goodness at the base of each leaf directly into your mouth…
Keep doing that until you reach the center, or the heart. AKA, roasted veggie perfection.
To get to the meat, grab the remaining leaves with one hand and the base with the other. Gently pull the two sections apart. If there is any remaining ‘fuzz’, use your trusty spoon to scrape that away. It’s not edible. Don’t eat it.
What’s under the ‘fuzz’ is the artichoke heart. Squirt a little extra lemon juice on that bad boy and dig in.
Don’t even share it. You did all the hard work, it’s all yours.