- Course: Side Dish, Vegetable
- Total Time: Under 2 Hours
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 25 Times
Everything’s essentially simple and straightforward once you get the artichokes dismembered. In fact, I suppose there are people who might taste the dish and think, “All that for this?” But to me, it’s stratospheric: essence of artichoke, set off by a crisp, herbal crumb jacket. The mint makes a magic synergy.
- Water, preferably spring or filtered
- 2 lemons
- 6 artichokes, the larger the better
- Cooking spray
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- ¼ cup very fine, soft breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh mint, preferably spearmint
- 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Fill a medium bowl with water and juice the lemons into it. Set aside.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top third of each artichoke. Break off (or snip with scissors) and discard the 1 to 3 rows of large, dark green leaves, and then smaller leaves at the base, until you begin to uncover slightly paler leaves. Cut each artichoke into quarters. With a very sharp paring knife, scoop out the hairy choke and cut away the spiky center leaves. Immediately drop the artichoke quarter into the lemon water, to minimize discoloring. Leave the artichoke quarters in the acidulated water until you’re ready to cook them; they can be left for up to 5 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. Spray a large, shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
5. Combine the garlic with the bread-crumbs, Parmesan, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the oil over the top and toss to combine. Set aside.
6. Drain the artichokes and pat dry. Place in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the heart and base of the leaves of each quarter. Bake until the artichokes are tender (though firmer than when steamed or boiled) and the crumbs are crisped, about 45 minutes. (Taste one, to make sure it’s reached this point.) Serve hot or warm.
QUEEN OF “HEARTS”
The first annual Artichoke Festival was held in Castroville, California, In 1948, not to celebrate the harvest of the town’s number one crop, but as a joint promotion. The festival was coolced up by two unlikely cosponsors: a local jewelry store and Twentieth Century Fox, which was trying to publicize an emerging young starlet. The name of the first Artichoke Queen? Marilyn Monroe.
© 2002 Crescent Dragonwagon
Nutritional information is based on 4 servings.