Simple steamed artichokes are wonderful, but these Artichokes Baked with White Wine, Thyme & Lemons are divine. Serve with a preserved lemon & ricotta dip for an impressive appetizer.
This is a lovely recipe from Honey & Co. at Home: Middle Eastern Recipes from our Kitchen by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich, a cozy cookbook from two married Israeli chefs in London. The dipping sauce calls for preserved lemons, which can be found in any Middle Eastern market. Preserved lemons can also be used in marinades, stews, and various Middle Eastern recipe. If you cannot find preserved lemons, substitute with some lemon juice.
Artichokes Baked with White Wine, Thyme & Lemons
2 big artichokes or 4 small ones
1 lemon, sliced
a couple of sprigs of thyme
1 head of garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled
250 ml / generous 1 cup of water
250 ml / generous 1 cup white wine
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil
for the lemony ricotta dipping sauce
1 tub ricotta (about 200g or scant 1 cup)
2 preserved lemons, flesh removed, and skin finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Heat the oven to 400F. If your artichokes are large, cut them into quarters. If they are small, but in them in half. A big serrated knife will do the job best. Rub the slices of lemon on the cut surfaces of the artichokes to stop them going black. To make life easier, you can now scoop out the chokes with a teaspoon or the tip of a small knife.
If you have an oven-proof, shallow pan with a tight lid, place the artichokes in it, cut-side up and quite snug. If you don’t, just use a baking tray with sides. Place the lemon slices, thyme, and whole garlic cloves in between the artichokes. Pour the water and the wine on top, and sprinkle with the salt and peppercorns. Finally, drizzle with the olive oil. Cover with the lid, or with aluminum foil, if using a tray.
Place in a hot oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the leaves just come as you pull gently.
Remove the artichokes from the cooking liquid and serve warm.
Mix all of the dipping sauce ingredients together and serve with the warm artichokes.