Translation: Sliced Steak with Garlic-Sautéed Artichokes (Part 2- The Artichokes)
Recipe: (as adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s “Rustic Italian”)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 lb of baby artichokes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1 small fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used Italian parsley)
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Confession: until this dish, I had never worked with fresh herbs before in my cooking. I was dried herbs all the way… mostly because I didn’t get that there was a difference. Friends, let me tell you, there is a difference! First of all, not only do you feel like a bonafide CHEF when you are throwing in your sprig (I love that word) of rosemary into the mix, or chopping up your beautiful Italian parsley…but the aroma….ughhhh the AROMA of these herbs is divine! It smells up your entire kitchen in the best possible way! I’ll tell you, I’m hooked. I even laughed at myself while I was cooking tonight when I realized I had zoned out for a good 5 minutes dreaming up the fresh herb garden I was going to plant…in our tiny…two bed-room…already over crowded….apartment. I can just see it now, my two year old climbing on top of the counter, pulling up my freshly planted herbs, and feeding them to his nothing but gums 6 month old brother..gracious me. Whatever, I’ll find a way. Listen, all that to say, when you can use fresh, USE FRESH!
(this recipe can be found on p.136 of Williams-Sonoma’s “Rustic Italian”)
To make the artichokes, fill a bowl with cold water and add half of the lemon juice. Trim the ends of the artichokes and remove the tough outer leaves. Slice the tips off the inner leaves and quarter (cut into 4’s) the artichokes. Remove any fuzzy choke, if present, and immerse the artichoke quarters in the lemon water.
In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, combine the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary and sauté just until the garlic begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain the artichokes and add to the pan. Add the parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and a grinding of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the artichokes are tender, 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle in the remaining lemon juice and cook for 1 more minute longer. Cover to keep warm and set aside.” (while you cook your steak found in Part 1 of this recipe).
I loved this recipe, and therefore, I think everything (flavor-wise) about it worked. As stated above, this was my first time working with fresh herbs and the easy, straight forward directions were so great.
What DIDN’T work:
The only thing about this recipe that “didn’t work” actually had nothing to do with the recipe itself, and everything to do with the market I was at. Unfortunately, they did not have fresh baby artichokes at the market today, and thus, I was forced to improvise….
No fresh baby artichokes
I, instead, opted for whole artichoke hearts in a jar. This left me needing to toy around with the above recipe a bit (seeing as how my artichokes were now already cooked,) but here is what I did:
First, I drained and rinsed the artichoke hearts in a colander in order to rid them of as much of the jarred liquid as possible. I then went straight into the lemon water portion of the above recipe. I filled a bowl with cold water and added half of the lemon juice. I then quartered the whole artichoke hearts and placed them in the lemon water. I grabbed a large frying pan, and over medium-low heat I combined the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary as stated above and sautéed just until the garlic began to soften, about 5 minutes. I then drained the artichokes and added them to the pan. Now, obviously the artichokes were already tender since they were precooked, so I added the parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and a grinding of pepper, gave them a quick stir until the artichokes were warm. I sprinkled in the remaining lemon juice and cooked for 1 more minute longer just as above. I covered them to keep warm and set them aside.
And there you have it! XO.