SERVES 6 to 8 (VEG): Simmering baby artichokes in their aromatic marinade before storing them gives them bright and balanced flavor.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Marinated artichokes have so many uses that they should be considered a pantry staple; they’re perfect for everything from throwing on pizzas, to tossing into a salad or pasta, to eating on an antipasto platter. But store-bought versions tend to be mushy and bland—and expensive. We set out to make our own recipe for easy, inexpensive, and boldly flavorful marinated artichokes. To get the best tender-yet-meaty texture and sweet, nutty artichoke flavor, we started with fresh baby artichokes. We simmered them gently in olive oil with strips of lemon zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, and thyme, then let them sit off the heat until they were perfectly fork-tender and infused with the aromatic flavors. Then we stirred in fresh lemon juice and more zest, minced garlic, and mint before transferring the artichokes to a bowl and topping them with the infused oil for serving and storage.
- 2 lemons
- 2½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds baby artichokes (2 to 4 ounces each)
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled, 6 cloves smashed, 2 cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- Using vegetable peeler, remove three 2-inch strips zest from 1 lemon. Grate ½ teaspoon zest from second lemon and set aside. Halve and juice lemons to yield ¼ cup juice, reserving spent lemon halves.
- Combine oil and lemon zest strips in large saucepan. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut top quarter off each artichoke, snap off outer leaves, and trim away dark parts. Peel and trim stem, then cut artichoke in half lengthwise (quarter artichoke if large). Rub each artichoke half with spent lemon half and place in saucepan.
- Add smashed garlic, pepper flakes, thyme sprigs, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to saucepan and bring to rapid simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to submerge all artichokes, until artichokes can be pierced with fork but are still firm, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit until artichokes are fork-tender and fully cooked, about 20 minutes.
- Gently stir in ½ teaspoon reserved grated lemon zest, ¼ cup reserved lemon juice, and minced garlic. Transfer artichokes and oil to serving bowl and let cool to room temperature. Season with salt to taste and sprinkle with mint. Serve. (Artichokes and oil can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
1- Using chef’s knife, cut off top quarter of each artichoke.
2- Snap off tough outer leaves; trim any remaining dark parts using paring knife.
3- Using paring knife, peel stem and trim end.
4- Once trimmed, cut artichoke in half.