Top | Savory

Artichokes Braised with Garlic and Thyme

(recipe, Anna Conley)

Introduction

Gourmet | April 2005 Food editor Maggie Ruggiero learned this method of cooking artichokes from a close friend of hers, Betty Alfenito, "prop stylist and cook extraordinaire." We love the wonderful pan sauce it yields, as well as the way it infuses the artichokes with a subtle hint of garlic. Yield: Makes 6 servings Active Time: 25 min Total Time: 1 hr Special equipment: a 6- to 8-qt heavy pot wide enough to hold artichokes in a single layer (about 11 inches in diameter) Accompaniment: crusty bread Cooks' note: Artichokes can be cleaned and trimmed 8 hours ahead and kept in bowl of water in refrigerator.

Ingredients

  1. 6 medium artichokes (½ lb each)
  2. 18 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  3. ¼ cup olive oil
  4. 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  5. 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and left unpeeled
  6. 1 cup water
  7. ¼ tsp. black pepper
  8. 1 tsp. salt
  9. 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Steps

  1. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut off top inch of artichoke and gently pull open center. Scoop out sharp leaves and fuzzy choke from center with a melon-ball cutter or a spoon. Trim bottom ¼ inch of stem (if present), keeping stem attached, and peel stem. Put artichoke in a large bowl of cold water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
  2. Remove artichokes from water and push 3 parsley sprigs into center of each. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then add artichokes, thyme sprigs, garlic, ¼ cup water, pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover pot and braise artichokes, turning occasionally, until artichokes are browned in spots and bases are tender when pierced with a knife, about 35 minutes.
  3. Transfer artichokes, thyme, and garlic to a platter. Add remaining ¾ cup water to pot and deglaze by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Pour pan juices (they will be dark) into a small bowl and stir in extra-virgin olive oil and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Squeeze pulp from 2 of garlic cloves into juices and mash into sauce with a fork.
  4. Divide artichokes and remaining garlic cloves among 6 plates and drizzle with sauce. Garlic cloves can be peeled and spread on crusty bread.