September 10, 2015 Starters Cooked Artichokes Artichokes will brown almost the moment you slice into them, so you need to make an acidulated water to slip them into after trimming. (They will still darken, but not as significantly when using the acidulated water. And once cooked, the discoloration should disappear.) Be prepared for lots of leaves to toss out, but if you have a compost bucket, you’ll be making it very happy. Ingredients: 2 lemons 4 cups (1 liter) cold water 8 medium or 6 large artichokes (about 3-pounds, 1,3 kg) 6 to 8 prepared artichoke hearts (See above) 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced Salt Red pepper flakes or black pepper 1/4 cup (60 ml) water or dry white wine 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley Preparation: Pour the water into a deep bowl. Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice into the water, then add the lemon halves to the water. Cut most of the stem off an artichoke, leaving about 3/4-inch (2 cm.) With a bread knife, or chef’s knife, cut off most of the crown or leaves of the artichoke, about an inch (3 cm) from where the stem meets the base of the artichoke. Pull off the tough leaves. Run a paring knife around the edge of the artichoke to remove any tough bits of skin and leaves. Take a spoon and scoop out the fuzzy “choke” of the artichoke, inside. Then use the paring knife to trim any last bits of skin on the stem. (If you’re not sure if something should be trimmed away or not – it will likely be tough, so get rid of it.) Slide the trimmed artichoke into the lemon water and repeat process with the remaining artichokes. To cook the artichokes, pour the oil and sliced garlic into an unheated sauté pan that has a cover. Heat the olive oil slowly. At the same time, working relatively quickly, drain the artichokes, towel dry them, and slice about 1/4-inch (1 cm) thick. (If preferred, you may cut them into wedges.) When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the artichoke slices, tossing them a few times in the garlic and oil, then season with salt and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes or a few turns of black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the water or wine and the lemon juice, and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 12 minutes or so, removing the lid and stirring a few times, until the artichokes are tender. They are done when you can poke a paring knife into one and it meets no resistance. Stir in the parsley. Cook for another minute or so to get rid of any excess liquid, then remove from heat. If you want to brown the artichokes further, add a pour of olive oil and keep cooking the artichokes, stirring infrequently, until browned.