Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Re-creating deli-style pickled artichoke hearts at home is surprisingly easy, and their texture and flavor are superior to store-bought. Don’t be put off by the need to trim the artichokes. Once you prepare the first few, the rest of the batch will go quickly.
- Juice of 2 lemons, plus 6 Tbs.
- 5 lb. baby artichokes
- 12 to 14 ice cubes
- 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar (6 percent acidity)
- 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Long, thin curls of zest from 4 lemons, removed with a cocktail citrus zester
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 6 pinches of red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbs. fines herbes
- 1 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Have ready 6 hot, sterilized half-pint jars and their lids.
Half fill a large bowl with water and add the juice of 2 lemons. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the outer leaves until you reach the tender inner leaves. Cut 1/2 inch off the top, then cut off the stem and trim any dark green skin from the base. Cut the artichoke into quarters, cut away any visible choke and place in the lemon water.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a large nonreactive saucepan and add 1/4 cup of the lemon water. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the artichokes are barely tender, about 10 minutes. Return the artichokes to the bowl of lemon water and stir in the ice cubes.
Meanwhile, in another large nonreactive saucepan, combine the 6 Tbs. lemon juice, the vinegar and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups water, set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt.
Divide the lemon zest and garlic evenly among the jars, then add a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. fines herbes and 1/4 tsp. peppercorns to each jar. Pack the artichokes tightly into the jars to within 1 inch of the rims.
Ladle the hot brine into the jars, leaving 3/4 inch of headspace. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil to each jar, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids. Let the jars stand undisturbed for 24 hours, and then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, shaking the jars gently for the first week to mix the flavors. Makes 6 half-pint jars.
Adapted from The Art of Preserving, by Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne & Rick Field (Weldon Owen, 2010).