Well it’s been about a month since we went to the little artichoke demo @ Williams-Sonoma, but I wanted to wait until it was officially fall to do the post. The store was filled with so many items signaling one of our favorite seasons, so needless to say mum wanted to walk out with everything in the shop. We’re talking a serious case of Dish Envy!
So, before I get into what we learned about artichokes I’ll share some of the pictures of what Williams-Sonoma has in store.
Now for artichokes… I’ve only had them once before I didn’t like them, and with this class since everything seemed to be accompanied by a fair to extreme amount of cheese, I didn’t try them at all.
Basic Step for Trimming Artichokes:
- Remove the outer leaves
- Cut the top third off the artichokes
- Trim the bottoms
- Remove the chokes
Our teacher wasn’t one for following rules or recipes, so we did a few of the recipes from the leaflet and then she created a few of her own on the spot.
The first recipe we tried was the Marinated Artichoke Hearts…
Marinated Artichoke Hearts
- 1 jar (12oz) water-packed artichoke hearts
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- grated zest of one lemon
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. mixed red and black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp capers or small caper berries, rinsed
- Drain and rinse the artichoke hearts, then pat dry. If the hearts are whole, cut into quarters lengthwise. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a fork, stir together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper corns and capers. Add the artichoke hearts and turn gently to coast. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days to allow the flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 2 cups.
Pan-Roasted Artichokes with Garlic and Lemon
- 3 lemons, quartered
- 4 large artichokes
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4-6 peeled garlic cloves, crushed
- Fill a large bowl with water. Squeeze the juice from the quarters of 1 lemon into the bowl. Trim the artichokes as described above and cut each in half lengthwise. Remove the chokes as described above. Keep the artichokes in the water until ready to cook; they may be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Just before cooking, spread the artichokes on paper towels, sliced side down, to drain and pat dry.
- In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until nearly smoking. Sprinkle the pan generously with salt and pepper. Carefully place the artichokes, sliced side down, in the pan, making sure to they lie flat. Season with salt and pepper and slip the garlic into the space between the artichokes. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally to keep the artichokes from sticking, until they are evenly browned underneath, 6 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, lift 1 or 2 artichokes up to check for doneness.
- Add the quarters of 1 lemon to the pan, place a piece of foil over the pan and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the pan front he heat and keep covered. Let the artichokes cool to room temperature, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Transfer the artichokes to a serving platter. Squeeze the juice from the cooked lemon wedges into the pan and whisk to scrape up any brown bits stuck to pan bottom. Pour the juice over the artichokes, garnish with the remaining lemon quarters and serve.
This dish was just a mixture of fresh veggies, cheese tortellini and parmesan cheese. It’s very simple to make, as you just use store bought tortellini, chop up some of your favorite veggies and mix them all together.
Fun fact we learned (not about artichokes) is Williams-Sonoma does offer in home cooking classes whether its for a small group or a dinner party. We might just have to try that out!
Until next time…