Some people find artichokes daunting. In all honesty, I can see why, given that each artichoke comes with it's own little set of armour. Once you get the hang of them, they really aren't difficult to use at all and they are so much better than canned. It is a bit disconcerting to see how much of the hard outer part is discarded, but then you get to that lovely light green interior and all is well.
I'm quite partial to marinated artichokes, but commercial products are very heavy in oil, and they have a tendency to be over-cooked. This recipe for marinated artichokes sounded so appealing to me, I had to try it. Be aware that when you clean the number of artichokes used for this recipe your fingertips, and especially your thumb will turn a deep maroon colour. It took a day or two wear off, (even with the huge number of times I wash my hands in the kitchen while cooking), so don't make this recipe before an important day, like a job interview or your wedding.
When I scrape out the choke I use a grapefruit spoon with a serrated tip and it works perfectly. Just be careful not to take too much of the flesh away with the choke. Keep the stem on, just removing the very end which will be black. I put the artichokes into a bowl of water with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from discolouring as you finish the rest of them. Oh yes, be careful of the little thorns on the tips of the leaves, they hurt.
This recipe is from Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone.
|48||baby artichokes the size of a child's fist (about 6 lbs)|
|1 cup||bottled lemon juice|
|2 cups||white wine vinegar with 5 per cent accidity|
|1 cup||olive oil|
|2||garlic cloves, sliced (about 1 tablespoon)|
- Remove the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, reducing the volume of the vegetable by half, until each artichoke has the shape of a teardrop or candle flame, is pale green to yellow, and is soft to the touch. With a paring knife, trim the base, removing all the rough surfaces. Cut the artichokes in half and pluck out any thistly interior leaves.
- In a large nonreactive pot, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add the artichokes and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
- Have ready 4 scalded pint jars and their bands. (To scald, simply dip the jars in boiling water. You don't need to sterlize the jars, as you will be processing them for over 10 minutes.) Simmer new lids in a small pan of hot water, to soften, the rubberized flange. When the jars are dry but still hot, remove the artichokes from the marinade with a slotted spoon and pack them into the jars, filling the jars about three-quarters full. Resist the temptation to overpack or you will compromise your seal. Cover the artichokes with the marinade, distributing the garlic evenly and leaving 1/2 to 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims, set on the lids, and screw on the bands fingertip tight.
- Place the jars in a pot filled with a rack and add enough water to cover the jars by 3 inches. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Process the artichokes for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the lid. After a few minutes, remove the artichokes.
- Allow the jars to cool completely before checking the seals. Allow the artichokes to season for 2 weeks before using, after which they'll keep in a cool, dark place for about a year. Once opened, keep in the refrigerator.
Check out more recipes for Vegetable Side Dish