You can boil the artichokes a day or two in advance and then roast them just before serving. This dish makes an elegant first course for a sit-down dinner. It can easily be doubled for a large party.
- Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp.
- 1 1/4 lb. baby artichokes, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. minced fresh oregano, or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and the halved artichokes. Reduce the heat so the water is at a gentle boil, cover and cook until the artichoke bottoms are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife and the leaves are tender to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichoke halves to a colander to drain.
When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, use a teaspoon to remove any prickly chokes at the center.
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Arrange the artichoke halves in a single layer in a shallow, 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Drizzle evenly with the olive oil. Roast the artichokes, turning once, until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a serving dish. Add the vinegar, oregano, garlic, the 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper to the oil in the baking dish and whisk to form a vinaigrette. Drizzle the vinaigrette evenly over the artichokes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).