Anna Dunn and Brooklyn restaurateur Andrew Tarlow share the very best of family-style feasts in Dinner at the Long Table.
Braising is great way to handle the spiny heart of this vegetable.
- Get a big bowl of water. Cut 2 of the lemons in half and squeeze their juice into the water. Toss the spent lemon halves in, too. Place another bowl nearby for the artichoke scraps. Strip off a couple of the outside leaves, anything that’s tough, brown, or old looking. Trim the tips. Slice the artichoke lengthwise into quarters or halves, depending on their size, and inspect the choke. If it’s tough and woody, you’ll have to scoop it out and discard. If it’s tender, you can leave it the way it is. Drop the trimmed artichokes into the bowl of water as you go.
- In a shallow pot, large enough to fit all artichokes in a single layer, gently cook the garlic in a healthy pour of olive oil, until light gold. Add the parsley, mint, oregano, and saffron and let them sizzle and infuse the oil for a minute or so. Add the leeks, celery, and porcini, season well with salt, stirring to combine, and gently cook until they soften but don’t take on any color, about 15 minutes. Add the wine, raise the heat, and cook until the smell of alcohol dissipates.
- Add the artichokes to the pot in a single layer, lower the heat, and gently simmer until they can be easily pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes. The cooking liquid should almost be high enough to submerge the artichokes, but not quite, so add a bit of water to the pan if it needs it.
- It’s important to be gentle with the artichokes as they cook; stir with a nimble hand. The artichokes should be juicy when finished. Once the artichokes are cooked, add salt to taste, gently folding it in; artichokes can absorb a considerable amount of salt, like beans. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before serving. Douse with olive oil and squeeze the remaining ½ lemon over the top.
(c) 2016 Dinner at the Long Table by Andrew Tarlow & Anna Dunn. Published by Ten Speed Press.
Dinner at the Long Table