Marinated artichoke it’s a delicious flavored dish which might be serving by itself as a carpaccio or you could add it to a pasta, salads, risotto,pizza , meat or vegetable ragout.
Artichoke is a perennial herb of the family Asteraceae. Is believed an artichoke is native of the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. Also have records of use as a food among the ancient Greeks and Romans. Today, globe artichoke cultivation is concentrated in the countries bordering the Mediterranean basin. The main European producers are Italy, Spain, and France. In the United States it’s California. They are available twelve months a year with the peak season in the spring and fall.
The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. Harvesting of artichoke’s buds might be on different stages. Young and small ones (the size of chicken egg) eating raw or half raw. Medium artichokes are eaten marinated or canned. Large artichokes usually boiled or baked.
When you are buying artichokes, try to choose those in which the petals are still rather closed, not open. They will be fresher and tenderer than artichokes where the petals have opened.The head of the artichoke must dense, firm and supple. Don’t take the fruits which is soft or/and has yellow and wilted leaves.
Today I’ll tell you how to clean artichoke and how to cook marinated artichokes.
4-5 medium globe artichokes
2 lemons – cut in a half. From three halves squeeze the juice and reserve one half
2-3 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
4-5 twigs of parsley
1 twig of fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon of dry one)
50-100 ml (¼-½ cup) Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
Let’s get started!
- Let’s clean artichokes. Prepare a big bowl (3-5 liters or 4 quarts) of cold water with juice of three halves of lemons. When you work with artichokes use only stainless steel knives and kitchen scissors. From contact with the air cleaned artichokes becomes dark pretty fast. That’s why need to rub the preserved lemon half over the cut surfaces and immediately put the trimmed artichokes in the lemon water to slow the oxidation.
- Slightly rinse artichokes in running cold water. First cut off excess stem of artichoke, leaving 2-3 cm (1 inch). Also cut any dark parts around the bottom. Snap off the dark-green hard outer leaves of the artichoke. Cut of the thorn and hard tips of all of the petals by kitchen scissors.
- Take a big knife and cut off about 2-3 cm (1 inch) off the tip of the artichoke. Rinse the artichoke in running cold water. While you rinse them, open up the petals a little so that the water does get inside more easily. Put artichoke into a bowl with lemon water and clean the rest of artichoke in the same way.
- Prepare a large deep pot, place cleaned artichoke and pour lemon water from a bowl. Add a bit of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a slightly boil. Cook for 30-40 minutes or till softness (check by toothpick).
- Let’s get cook dressing. Mix garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh or dry basil, parsley, salt and pepper in a blender. If you want to artichokes preserved longer, then you can fill in their dressing without adding greenery and stored refrigerated in a tightly closed jar using as needed.
- Remove the artichokes from the water ready and cool slightly. Pull off outer petals (them white fleshy end you could eat dipping in the dressing). With a spoon scoop out and discard the hairy choke and thorny inner leaves covering the artichokes heart. Cut in halves, mix with the dressing and put in a fridge on 1-2 hours.
- You could serve pickled artichokes as a carpaccio or add to salads, pasta, etc. if desire.