I had a craving for artichokes and we stopped at Wegmans on the way home from my in-laws this weekend. We were wandering around the store looking at the Asian Wockery when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a gorgeous 2 lb. box of baby artichokes! I had to have them. They were only $4.00 so I figured it wasn't a big deal. I had no idea what to do with these babies so I did some research on google. I found a recipe on simplyrecipes.com. It looked great and gave me a chance to remove all the leaves and gunk because when I opened the plastic box I found out that some of the baby artichokes were moldy and black. The recipe calls for Herbes de Provence. I have heard of Herbes de Provence but I have never used them nor have I tried to find them in my local grocery store. Naturally, the grocery stores in my podunk little town do not carry Herbes de Provence even though it says online that Herbes de Provence are "widely available." I found a recipe to make your own Herbes de Provence but even that proved to be impossible. I couldn't find a few of the ingredients. I just made my own combination of the herbs that I had in my cabinet. Good luck finding it or lavender, chervil and powdered bay leaves in your grocery store. Anyway, the artichokes turned out great. I will try a little harder next time to find all the ingredients even if I have to drive all the way to the closest Wegmans in Timonium.
Sauteed Baby Artichokes Recipe
2 pounds baby artichokes
Bowl of water with 3 cups of water and juice from 2 fresh lemons (about 3 Tbsp) or equivalent amount of vinegar
1 cup of water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
1 pinch of Herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 to 1/2 cup to taste)
1. Rinse the baby artichokes. Set out a bowl with 3 cups of ice-cold water; add the fresh squeezed juice from 2 lemons (about 3 Tbsp of lemon juice) or vinegar. Working on the artichokes one by one, cut off the stem to 1/4-inch from the base; peel back and remove the petals until only the top third of the cone tip is pale green green. Cut off the pale green tips. Trim off any remaining green from base of artichoke. Halve or quarter the artichokes, depending on their size and drop in the bowl of acidified water (to prevent discoloration).
2. Drain artichokes. In a large skillet, heat the artichokes and 1 cup of water to boiling. Cover and simmer 3-5 minutes , depending on the size of the artichokes. Drain well.
3. Using the same skillet, heat to medium high and add the olive oil. Add the artichokes, onions, garlic, and Herbes de Provence. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle on 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper. Put in serving bowl, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Herbes de Provence
Prep Time: 5 minutes
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1 tsp ground rosemary
• 1 tsp summer savory
• 1/2 tsp lavender (optional but traditional)
• 1 tsp marjoram
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1/2 tsp dried sage
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Crush slightly with a pestle or the back of a spoon. Store in an airtight container. Rub into meat,chicken or fish for a dry rub or combine with olive oil for a marinade.
The Creative Cook