This past weekend was beautiful – we spent the day lugging giant branches to the burn pile, raking the pine needles, planning the garden spaces, napping on the chaise lounge . . . just about anything to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine. This included a little lunch alfresco on the deck. I even made some sweet tea (say this with a Texas twang) to celebrate the spring-like day.
For lunch, I baked artichokes. I think I was in my 20’s the first time I ever tasted an artichoke and it had the bejeezus boiled out of it. I dipped the tasty leaf in lemon butter and it was love at first bite. So good, in fact, that I never even gave a thought to preparing them any other way besides boiling or steaming. Then a few weeks ago I found zip packs of them at Costco. The bags contained four large artichokes for about six bucks – about half of what they cost at the grocery. I took a bag home and decided to try the enclosed recipe for baked artichokes. I can’t believe it’s taken me all this time to discover how FABULOUS a baked artichoke tastes!
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On a large sheet of foil, place the artichoke on a slice of lemon. Squeeze lemon juice into the leaves and tuck spears of fresh garlic in there as well. (the recipe gave an optional ingredient of 2 Tbsp chicken broth)
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Next, drizzle olive oil into the leaves and top with a pinch or two of salt. Gather the foil around the artichoke tightly. The goal is to seal it so it won’t dry out in the oven. Place the wrapped artichokes in a baking dish and bake at 425° for 90 minutes.
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A feast of a lunch with baked artichokes, chewy bread, herbed olive oil dipper and calmata olives. I even brought out a table cloth for the first time in months and we savored the beautiful day!
So, am I the last kid on the block to discover this deliciousness? How do you prepare your artichokes?