Lemon-Thyme Braised Artichokes

Baby artichokes are a variety of artichoke that matures at a smaller size and lacks a fully developed choke. Once you peel away the outer leaves, the entire artichoke is edible, and can be roasted or simmered and pureed into soup or sauce – or simply braised in wine and herbs. I like these with a lot of good, chewy bread and a salad – in fact, you could add them to a salad if for some strange reason you have leftovers – eaten hot and right out of the pan.

Lemon-Thyme Braised Artichokes i i
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR
Lemon-Thyme Braised Artichokes
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Serves 2 (easily doubled)

2 lemons, halved

8 baby artichokes with long stems

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups water

1 cup white wine

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

3 shallots, minced

1 teaspoon salt

Squeeze 2 lemon halves into a large bowl of cold water.

Cut off top inch of 1 artichoke and bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base (keep stem attached). Discard several more layers of leaves in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves.

Cut off remaining leaves 1/2 inch above top of artichoke base using a sharp knife.

Trim remaining artichokes in same manner.

Combine lemon juice, water, wine, oil, thyme, shallots and 1 teaspoon salt in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot (wide enough to hold artichokes in 1 layer with stems pointing upward) and bring to a simmer.

Stand artichokes, stem ends up, in liquid and cover with a round of parchment paper. Simmer, covered with parchment and lid, until just tender when artichoke bottom is pierced with a knife, 20 to 30 minutes.

Transfer artichokes with a slotted spoon to a shallow serving dish. Boil cooking liquid until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. During last 2 minutes of boiling, whisk liquid until it emulsifies. Pour over artichokes. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

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