Roasting baby artichokes couldn’t be any easier than this recipe. Roasted with olive oil, herbs and lemon, topped with a bagna cauda sauce, this might be your new favorite way to eat artichokes!
The first restaurant I worked at while in culinary school was this awesome bistro that did all of their menu items from scratch. I can’t think of anything that we didn’t make in that kitchen. When my sous chef found out that I was learning about vegetable cookery, he set my prep lists, that week, to be solely based on vegetables. We happened to have gotten a huge 25-pound case of jumbo artichokes in that week and guess whose job it was to clean them? Yep. Mine. That case made me hate cleaning jumbo artichokes. But I love them too much to not cook them. This is a serious dilemma.
A few weeks ago, I cooked live on my Facebook page, showing everyone my treasures from the Farmers market. With it being prime artichoke season, I wanted everyone to feel comfortable being able to cook this amazing vegetable. Preparing and cooking artichokes doesn’t have to take a lot of time, especially if you buy the baby ones! Here is a link to the video to see me cook in action.
Since these are baby artichokes, you don’t need to worry about cleaning the little hairs in the heart of the artichoke; that saves a ton of time! Even though these are small, I would still highly recommend trimming the tips of the artichokes with kitchen shears to make sure that the points are gone. Another thing to keep in mind when prepping these artichokes (I mention this in the video, seriously you should watch it! Here’s the link), rub the artichoke wherever you cut it with lemon so that they don’t oxidize and turn brown.
Searing these artichokes in a cast iron pan gave me the deep color I wanted which added texture and a depth of flavor to the artichokes that was just spot on! If you don’t have a cast iron pan, no worries, you can still use a stainless-steel pan, just make sure it’s oven safe. Roasting these baby artichokes on top of some slices of lemon and fresh herbs infuses more flavors into this amazing veggie and ties in super nice with the sauce (if you want to learn more about infusing more flavor into your cooking, consider signing up for my 7 Simple Hacks to Elevate Your Dinner email series!). Covering the pan with tin foil helps keep in the moisture so that the leaves don’t dry up while cooking.
By now you might be wondering if I will ever explain what a Bagna Cauda is. Well, this is probably one of my favorite, lesser known, sauces out there. Bagna cauda hails from Italy and is such a rustic sauce. I love it because of its unique flavor and its versatility. With roasted garlic and anchovies, this sauce very much has the resemblance of a broken Caesar dressing. It’s tangy, salty, garlicky. In a word: phenomenal. I love pairing this sauce with my baby artichokes because artichokes already have a tangy-ness to them that this sauce just makes sense.
If the thought of anchovies just makes you have the heebie jeebies, consider using these other sauces instead:
Sour cream with some mustard
These all would pair nicely with these baby artichokes if you felt the need to swap sauces.
A note about eating these lovely artichokes. The heart and stem are the most tender part of the whole vegetable. You can eat it right out with a spoon. However, as you make your way to the outer leaves, they become tougher to chew; the way to eat these leaves is just to bite the insides of the leaf and pull up and away from your mouth. Your teeth will scrape the meat off of the bottom of the leaves and you can then discard the rest of the leaf.
Enjoy this recipe! Artichokes are such a fun vegetable to eat and super easy to cook! What are your favorite spring vegetables/foods? Any that you would like to see on the blog?
- 4 each baby artichokes
- 2 each lemons
- 1/4 cup fresh sage
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 head garlic , roasted
- 1 each anchovy filet
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
Trim each artichoke’s outer leaf tips with kitchen shears. Peel stem on artichoke until fibrous skin is removed (the core will be a pale green). Discard all trimmings.
Cut each artichoke in half, rubbing cut side with lemon.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat skillet over medium high heat with olive oil in the bottom.
Season artichokes with salt and pepper. Place artichokes in pan, cut side down, and sear for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan.
Slice lemon into 8 slices and place in cast iron skillet. Place herbs on top of each slice of lemon. Place artichokes on top of lemon and herbs, cut side down. Cover skillet with aluminum foil and roast in oven for 15 minutes or until tender.
Roast whole garlic head in aluminum foil in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut bottom off of garlic head and squeeze cloves from garlic paper. Discard garlic wrappings.
Bring together garlic, anchovy and olive oil to temperature in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Mash garlic and anchovy with the back of a spoon in the pan to help dissolve.
Add red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Serve over roasted artichokes. Use as a dipping sauce for outer leaves.