I couldn’t be more excited about this weeks celebration of spring fling! We are cooking up lots of different recipes using artichokes.
Recently I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with baby artichokes. I don’t know if I was living in a cave or what – but when I first discovered them at the farmers market I was thrilled! And then when the farmers told them they are WAY easier to clean than regular artichokes – I was hooked. I am a sucker for a good artichoke – but cleaning them, removing the heart, blah blah blah – it just seems like a lot of work. Well these little baby artichokes are way easier to clean, there is no removal of the artichoke heart and after you peel back a few layers and trim the ends, well, you can eat the whole thing! wooohoo
My favorite way to cook baby artichokes is sautéing them in a little olive oil with lots of garlic, pancetta, lemon zest and lemon juice. They make the perfect side dish as they compliment a variety of proteins and they have tons of flavor.
Let’s take a quick look on how to prep these little morsels of goodness:
First you just need to peel back the few outer layers until you can see the more tender leaves underneath. Gently remove the outer leaves and discard.
Trim the bottom of the artichoke and discard.
Trim the top 1/2 of the artichoke and discard that too! And then when you are done with that you should have a baby artichoke that looks like this!
You can saute them whole like this or cut them in halves or quarters depending on what you fancy!
Now comes the good part! You’re going to crisp up some pancetta and using the fat from the pancetta and a tad bit of olive oil if needed, saute the baby artichokes until they are almost tender! Throw in lots of garlic, lemon zest and juice and add the pancetta back to the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper and…. ta-da… you’re ready to eat!
Spring Fling: Baby Artichokes
- 2 lbs Baby Artichokes
- 4 oz pancetta roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 lemon zested
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- To prep the baby artichokes, peel back the outer layers of the artichoke and remove. Trim the top and the bottom of the artichoke and then cut the artichoke in half, set into a bowl of acidulated water until ready to use.
- In a large skillet warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned pancetta and set aside.
- Add the prepped baby artichokes to the same skillet and saute for 7-9 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and lemon zest and saute for about 2 minutes more until the garlic is fragrant. Add the juice of a lemon and the crisped pancetta and mix around. Season with salt and pepper to taste.