Whole Artichokes with Lemon Vinaigrette
This easy dish makes an impressive first course for a party and it even can be made ahead of time. To eat, just pull off the leaves, dip them in the vinaigrette and scrape the fleshy bottoms with your teeth. When you get to the choke (fibrous center), just peel it away with a spoon, and enjoy the prize at the bottom!
Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs
4 whole artichokes
2 quarts water
¼ cup flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 2 tbsps. for vinaigrette
2 tbsps. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
½ tsp. finely minced garlic
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
Salt & black pepper, to taste
1. Make cooking liquid: In a 4-quart pot, combine the water, flour, 1 tsp. salt, vegetable oil and juice of one lemon.
2. Cut off stems of artichokes to create a flat bottom. Using the already squeezed halved lemon, rub the bottoms to prevent discoloring. With the tip of a small knife, pierce the bottoms about ½-inch deep to create an X. (This will help the artichokes to cook more evenly). Cut off the top ¼ of the artichoke with a serrated knife, rub with lemon. Remove the tough bottom leaves and trim leaf tips with a kitchen scissors. Immediately immerse each in the cooking liquid to avoid discoloration.
3.Cover the artichoke tops with a kitchen towel and cover with a plate to hold artichokes down in the liquid. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook 25 to 30 minutes until a knife inserted into the stem end meets no resistance.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 tbsps. lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey and garlic with the salt and black pepper, to taste. Continue whisking and add the oil bit by bit. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Cool artichokes, and serve cold with the vinaigrette.
NOTE: These are also great served hot with melted butter or garlic butter and lemon wedges.