Olive Oil Roasted Baby Artichokes
Do you have a food ‘bucket list’? Have you ever waited what seemed like forever to cook with a specific ingredient? There are quite a few on my food bucket list, including some fresh fruit and vegetables rarely seen in North America or most impossible to find in my city, Calgary. On my wish list of fruits & veggies are bergamot citrus, the delicious flavour that IMHO makes Earl Grey tea so special. I would probably make some kind of bergamot marmalade or curd with it and right now thinking about it, my mouth is absolutely watering. Next up is honest to goodness legit Hungarian dried paprika made from peppers by little old Nagyanas…but I’ll have to travel to Hungary for that experience! A third food bucket list item of mine is to try cooking with hops. I began working on this item this spring when I planted our very first vine of Cascade hops. They didn’t grow too much this summer but hubby still had enough to fresh hop a new batch of beer. I’ll have to wait until next year to experiment with them. While shopping at the nearby Italian Centre Shop, I found the fourth food bucket list item; tiny baby artichokes at the peak of their season. They fit into the palm of my hand and I could tell they were still quite fresh as they were plump and tight at the same time. Back at home, I knew exactly how I wanted to cook them…Italian style! I say that they are olive oil roasted but really they are quite close to confited because they were engulfed almost entirely in olive oil. I added some of my fresh garden lemon thyme and rosemary to the oil as well as a few cloves of garlic. Will they were in the oven, I added some more herbs to finely ground breadcrumbs. Mixing some of that herb flavoured olive oil into the breadcrumbs after the artichokes were finished roasting and scattered the breadcrumbs over the artichokes completed the dish both visually and texturally.
Olive Oil Roasted Baby Artichokes
- 9 baby artichokes; fresh and firm
- 3 cloves garlic; peeled and crushed
- fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1 – 2 cups olive oil
- 1/3 breadcrumbs
- Fill a large bowl with cold water. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the water along with the lemon halves.
- Remove outer petals of the artichoke until the lighter, more tender petals appear. Snap off the long stem. Place in acidulated water immediately.
- Once you have prepared all of the artichokes, slice off the top centimeter of each artichoke.
- Place artichokes in a pot and cover with the acidulated water. Place a heatproof dish or container over top so the artichokes stay under water.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Scatter fresh herbs into a bake proof ceramic/glass baking dish that is just big enough to fit your artichokes. Arrange artichokes stem side down in the baking dish.
- Re use the boiling pot to fry the crushed garlic cloves in some oil, taking care to remove them when they just begin to turn golden.
- Add garlic to the baking dish. If there is still a lot of extra room in the dish, feel free to add a few root vegetables or mushrooms to fill in the gaps.
- Bake at 400°F for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly.
- Drain artichokes on a paper towel. Mix the breadcrumbs with a tablespoon of the oil and add more fresh herbs if you wish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Scatter breadcrumb mixture over the artichokes and serve.