As part of this month's Healing Foods, I was challenged to cook whole, fresh artichokes for the first time. Usually I just buy them already cooked and marinated or in water, all ready to go. My grocery store has had a lot of fresh artichokes and figured this would be a good time to give them a try. So, this time I bought a container of baby artichokes which I cleaned myself. It wasn't that difficult at all. If you've never done it before, check out the step-by-step directions on this site. I wanted to keep my treatment of the artichoke hearts simple so that I could really taste the artichokes themselves. I braised them in some fresh lemon juice and thyme and they were quite delicious. Feel free to add other flavors as well such as basil, garlic, or red pepper flakes.
Artichokes are on the Healing Foods list because they contain a lot of fiber, vitamins B and C, iron, and an enzyme called cynarine, which increases your bile flow and is good for your liver and digestion. Give these artichokes a try. They are great as an appetizer or a side and make sure you have some crusty bread to go with them! This will serve 2-4 people as a side.
Lemon and thyme braised baby artichokes
about 10 to 12 baby artichokes, cleaned and peeled to the hearts and cut in half
juice of 1 to 2 lemons (depends on your taste - I like a lot of lemon)
5 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
water, to cover
Add the juice of the lemon(s) and about 1-inch of water to a medium saucepan. Add the artichoke hearts to the pan as soon as you finish cleaning and cutting them (mix them around so they are covered in the lemon) because they will turn brown very quickly. Once they are all in the pan, add more water (if needed) until the are almost covered. Add the thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Cover and cook over medium heat until they are fork tender. Serve immediately.
This recipe is being sent to this month's Healing Foods event.
What was I cooking one year ago?: fish tacos