It’s not surprising that artichokes are a local favorite, especially since Castroville, the “Artichoke Capital of the World,” is right up the coast. Unadorned, artichokes are high in fiber and vitamin C and low in calories. The edible part of a large one can have as few as twenty-five calories. The balsamic vinegar marinade here, using only a bit of olive oil and honey, helps keep the calorie count low, and roasting transforms the marinade into a flavorful glaze. Artichokes thrive year-round, but are bountiful from March to May, making this a perfect spring appetizer or side dish.
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 medium-size artichokes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the vinegar, garlic, shallot, and thyme in a medium-size bowl and set aside.
2. Trim an artichoke down to its bottom, leaving most of the stem attached. Slice the trimmed artichoke in half through the stem and place it in the vinegar marinade. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
3. Toss the artichokes in the vinegar marinade to coat. Cover the bowl and let the artichokes marinate at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, tossing occasionally.
4. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
5. Using tongs, remove the artichoke halves from the marinade and place them, cut side down, in a roasting pan. Add the honey to the marinade and whisk to blend. Pour this mixture over the artichokes.
6. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake the artichokes for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake the artichokes, uncovered, until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife and the marinade has reduced to a glaze, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
7. Place each on a serving plate. Drizzle the olive oil over the artichokes and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.