But don’t be fooled by the name “baby artichoke” as they’re not “baby” or “immature” artichoke at all. An artichoke plant will sprout several regular sized artichokes near the top of the plant and much smaller ones near the bottom of the plant, which are labeled as “baby artichokes.” Clever marketing, eh? The smaller artichokes have the same flavor the big boys, but have no prickly hairs in the center, so they’re much easier to prepare.
This week’s Spring Fling with my friends is all about celebrating artichokes!
- Roberto at Food2: The Art of the Artichoke
- Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Artichoke Recipe Roundup
- Kirsten at FN Dish: Artichokes for Beginners
- Diane and Todd at White On Rice Couple: Grilled Artichoke Stems
- Gaby at What’s Gaby Cooking: Baby Artichokes
- Roberto at Cooking Channel: Artichoke Appetizers
- Dana at Food Network Healthy Eats: All About Artichokes
How to Prep Baby Artichokes
The baby artichokes are a little larger than the size of a golf ball (try not to buy any larger than that) and they’re very easy to prepare. The first step is to cut off the top portion of the artichoke.
Now peel and snap off the first two layers of leaves until you reach pale, smooth leaves.
Just like this:
The entire tender center is edible. Slice them just like this:
Oh, about 1/4″ thick:
Let the slices soak in lemony water so that they don’t discolor.
When I’m ready to cook, I like to put all of the artichokes into a salad spinner to dry them completely.
Heat a large saute pan (or wok!) with olive oil and saute the artichokes for a few minutes.
Then add the garlic slices (if you had added garlic first, they would have burned)
Give ’em a good toss until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Throw in some chopped fresh tomatoes.
Season with salt, pepper.
Squeeze in lemon juice.
Pour in wine and broth.
Cover and let the artichokes cook through on medium heat.
Finish it off with some fresh parsley.
Serve while hot!
Baby Artichokes with Garlic and Tomatoes
- 1 pound baby artichokes
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1-2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (or other fresh herb like basil)
- Fill a large bowl with cool water, Take just one of the lemon halves (you'll cook with the other half) and squeeze the juice into the water. Go ahead and throw in the spent lemon into the water too.
- Prepare the artichokes by cutting off and discarding the top 1/2" of the artichoke. Peel away the first couple of dark green layers of the artichoke leaves until you reach pale, smooth, light green leaves. Slice the artichoke into 1/4" slices. Place slices into the lemon-water. Repeat with remaining artichokes. You can do this step ahead of time and refrigerate until ready.
- Just before you're ready to cook, place the artichokes into a salad spinner and remove all of the water (or you could pat very dry with towels.)
- Heat a large saute pan (I prefer a wok) over medium-high heat. Swirl in the olive oil. When hot, add the artichoke slices. Try not to overlap the slices - spread them out all over the pan. You may want to cook this in two batches if your pan isn't large enough. Cook for 2 minutes and them toss to flip. The artichokes should be nicely browned.
- If you're cooking in two batches, go ahead and dish out the cooked artichoke and brown the second batch. When second batch is done, add the first batch back in the pan.
- Add in the garlic slices and saute until fragrant, tossing frequently. Add in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Give it another good toss. Pour in the wine, broth and squeeze in the juice of the remaining lemon half.
- Bring to simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Give it a taste - adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Is the artichoke tender? If not, cover and cook for another minute. Finish with fresh parsley.
This was a hit. My husband and three kiddos were very skeptical. The kids had never tried artichokes before but they ended up having seconds! Even my husband admitted it really was good. It’s a keeper.
Wow, this paragraph is fastidious, my younger sister is
analyzing these things, thus I am going to inform her.
I love this very much great dude…very easy to make and simple ingredients..
Yum! This looks delicious! Thanks for posting 🙂
Thank you for giving that tutorial. I always stare at the artichokes at the supermarket wondering how in the world to prepare them! It looks good. Must def. try this recipe soon.
City Girl to Country Girl
can you tell me if anyone has ever made this and they taste bitter? these are brand new baby artichokes from whole foods?
And another artichoke treat: Artichoke Hearts Oreganata
I know what I am having with dinner tonight. Nah, I don’t want to wait that long– maybe they’ll be lunch instead.
What a beautiful dish- the photos are really helpful! I’ve never made fresh baby artichokes because it seems like so much work, but you’ve inspired me to try it as I love fresh baby artichokes when I eat out!
This dish is beautiful – I could look at it until it got cold. I’ve never seen baby artichokes at any of the greengrocers here but I have my heart set on making this recipe!
I can’t wait until I can try this recipe!
I adore baby artichokes. I usually enjoy then raw – they are great in salads. But this recipe looks awesome. I need to go find some baby artichokes!
As a super practical cook, I enjoy the sweet flesh of artichokes the simplest way I can — steamed, with a yummy, easy dip: http://getcookingsimply.com/?p=2702
Artichokes are plentiful here in coastal northern California. With our cool spring this year, they are still available at local farmers markets and grocery stores. Not all that common for late May.
We haven’t worked with the babies, only the big guys. The little ones seem a lot easier to prep, which saves some time in the kitchen when you’re doing a lot.
These look amazing, I just wish I could find some!
Here’s another artichoke treat: Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes (my grandmother’s recipe) http://www.fortycloves.com/2011/03/stuffed-artichokes-.html
I am crazy about artichokes and have not really worked much with the babies. Will have to get some this weekend and enjoy. The recipe looks delish and photos too Jaden. In fact we have friends coming for dinner tomorrow night. This could be a good side with my pan-roasted salmon.Thanks!
Oh, and here is a recent post I did on simple artichokes (the big ones) with a lemon-garlic dipping sauce
I LOVE your Spring Fling idea! I’m going to the farmers market Sat and trying out a few of your recipes. Thanks for sharing!
Would love to share some artichoke recipes with your wonderful readers….Check out:
Hope your readers enjoy! I’m definitely returning for Strawberries….can’t wait.
I have developed an obsession with artichoke hearts, so I have added them to pasta with some garlic, red pepper flakes and a dash of lemon! Perfect for a spring time dinner!
I made Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese, Toasted Walnuts and Balsamic Glaze for Easter dinner this year. Recipe is really easy and it’s delicious!
Lovely! Looks absolutely delicious!
I recently tried fresh artichokes for the first time – so good…
Baby artichokes are my fav!!
This year, I tried artichokes in a soup. It was velvety and delicate, and a departure from my usual ways of preparing them.
This “Chicken Fricasssee with Fennel and Artichoke” dish was one of our favorite dinners this spring. I would be so delighted to share it with anyone interested.
These look perfect! i’ve never made artichokes before and am really excited to try this recipe 🙂
This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing, now off to add it to my keeper file…Tamara @ God’s Perfect Promises
This looks wonderful! I am going to add pasta! Thanks for posting.
this looks so easy and wonderful and thanks for the baby artichoke cooking 101 tips! thank you!!!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I can’t wait to try it!
This looks really good, but I can never find baby artichokes. Maybe it’s just because they look similar, but I think this recipe would work with brussel sprouts too.
Heavens to Betsy! this looks so delicious…mmmmm I can smell it! ; )