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Braised Artichoke Hearts with Peas and Mint

You can make an impressive dish in minutes by using just the artichoke hearts. Prepared in a pressure cooker, they’ll be ready in one-sixth the usual cooking time. The directions below are designed for a stovetop pressure cooker; if you are using an electric pressure cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • 4 large artichokes, each about 10 oz.
  • 1 leek, white portion only
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) peas
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh mint, plus whole leaves for garnish

Directions:

Grate the zest from the lemon and set aside. Fill a bowl with water and squeeze the juice from the lemon into it. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the dark green leaves until you reach the tender yellow inner leaves. Using a small sharp knife, pare away any tough green leaf patches from the bottom of the artichoke, then trim the leaves 1 inch from the top. Cut each artichoke into quarters and, with a paring knife, trim away the fuzzy choke. Drop each quarter into the bowl of lemon water to prevent discoloring.

Slice the leek in half lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Put the slices in a bowl of cold water and swish to rinse it of grit. Lift out the leek with a sieve and set aside. Discard the water.

In a stovetop pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leek and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes, then stir in the thyme. Using a slotted spoon, lift the artichokes out of the lemon water and add them to the pot; add a pinch of salt and the broth.

Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick-release the steam. When the pressure valve drops, remove the lid, tilting it away from your face to allow steam to escape.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a bowl; set aside. Add the peas and butter to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the peas are just tender and the liquid in the pot has reduced, about 3 minutes. Stir in the minced mint and reserved lemon zest. Pour the peas, leeks and juices over the artichokes and stir. Garnish with the whole mint leaves and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from The Pressure Cooker Cookbook, by Tori Ritchie (Weldon Owen, 2012).