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Spicy Marinated Artichokes

Ingredients:

For the flavored oil:

  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and smashed
  • 3 strips lemon rind
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 9 baby artichokes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Directions:

To make the flavored oil, in a small pan over low heat, combine the olive oil, thyme, garlic, lemon rind, red pepper flakes and peppercorns. Gently warm the mixture until it is just heated; do not allow it to bubble. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Pull off the outermost layer of tough leaves from the artichokes. Peel and trim the stems, removing 1/8 inch from each base. Halve each artichoke lengthwise and gently scoop out the fuzzy choke if prickly to the touch. As each artichoke is prepared, submerge it in the lemon water to prevent discoloring.

Drain the artichokes and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Place the carrot and onion in a large sauté pan and arrange the artichokes in a single layer on top. Drizzle with the olive oil and wine. Cook over high heat until the mixture starts to bubble, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the artichoke bases and leaves are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the artichokes and discard the braising vegetables and liquid. Divide the artichokes evenly between 2 sterilized preserving jars, then cover with the cooled flavored oil. Tightly seal the jars and set in a cool, dark place for 3 days. After opening the jars, store in the refrigerator. Makes two 1/2-pint jars.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma TASTE Magazine, "The Heart of the Matter," by Susie Theodorou (Spring 2002).