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Sauteed Artichoke Hearts in Parsley-Lemon Sauce

Sauteed Artichoke Hearts in Parsley-Lemon Sauce
Artichokes have a flush in the spring and then again in autumn. The autumn specimens are more open and often have a tinge of brown, or a "kiss of frost" as growers call it, which does not at all detract from their flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemons
  • 6 artichokes
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or canned broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Have ready a large bowl of water. Cut 1 of the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut off the stem near the base. Peel back and snap off the first 1 or 2 layers of leaves, then cut off the top one-third of the artichoke. Starting at the base, break off the tough outer leaves, snapping them downward, until you reach the tender, pale green inner leaves. Cut off the uppermost part of the artichoke again, leaving about 1 inch of leaves rising. Trim around the base to make a smooth surface, then cut the artichoke in half lengthwise. If the center choke has developed any prickly tips, scoop it out with the edge of a spoon. If the choke is only furry, leave it, as it will be edible when cooked. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 pieces and drop them into the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. When all the artichokes are trimmed, drain and pat dry.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and the artichokes and sauté until the artichokes turn lightly golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan, stirring to dislodge any browned bits from the pan bottom. Then add the stock and salt, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the bases of the artichoke pieces are easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the parsley and remove the pan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichoke pieces to warmed individual plates or a serving platter or bowl. Spoon the pan sauce over the top. Cut the remaining lemon into slices and garnish the artichokes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Cooking from the Farmers' Market, by Georgeanne Brennan (Time-Life Books, 1999).