May artichokeBaby Artichokes with Oven-dried Tomatoes & Green-Olive Dressing

 

Right now artichokes are producing like crazy; it’s a great time to head out to the garden and pick a bunch for this recipe. Artichokes are a perennial vegetable and one of the easiest vegetables to grow.

This delightful spring vegetable dish has quite a few steps, but fear not:  it’s actually very simple to prepare. The resulting platter is beautiful and delicious! You can add additional roasted or grilled spring vegetables (like asparagus) to the dish to make it even better. Serve during a spring meal as a fresh and savory garden-to-table treat.

 

Green-Olive Dressing
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup seeded chopped tomato
1/4 cup finely chopped pitted brine-cured green olives
2 tsp grated lemon peel

Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature to blend flavors (can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover & chill. Bring to room temperature before using).

Oven-Dried Tomatoes
1 pound plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise in half, seeded
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly oil rimmed baking sheet. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on prepared sheet. Drizzle 2 tbsp oil over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake until tomatoes look slightly shriveled and are slightly brown around edges, about 1 hour 30 minutes. (can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Baby Artichokes
1 lemon
2 lbs baby artichokes (about 18)
6 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried herbes de Provence
½ cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
8 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, quartered
Oven-dried Tomatoes
Green-Olive Dressing
Oven-roasted Asparagus (optional)
Goat cheese (optional)

Fill large bowl with cold water. Cut lemon in half; squeeze juice into water, then add lemon halves. Cut off stem and top quarter from 1 artichoke. Bend back dark green outer leaves and snap off at artichoke base until only pale green and yellow leaves remain. Cut artichoke lengthwise in half. Remove any purple-tipped leaves from the center of the artichoke. Place artichoke halves in lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Drain artichokes well. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add artichokes; sprinkle with salt & pepper and saute’ 3 minutes. Add garlic and herbes de Provence; saute’ until artichokes begin to brown slightly, about 6 minutes. Add broth and wine; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until artichokes are tender and most liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer artichokes to platter; cover and keep warm.

Heat remaining 3 tbsp oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute’ until tender and golden brown, about 8 minutes; season to taste with salt & pepper. Transfer mushrooms and oven-dried tomatoes to platter with the artichokes. Spoon green olive dressing over.

This dish is wonderful served with orzo or polenta on the side; pass a bowl of crumbled goat cheese to go with the vegetables for an extra wow.

Serves 4-6