Artichokes, much like sous vide until only a few years ago, are an underappreciated addition to the dining room.
The artichoke is a delicate flower which was, once upon a time, the domain of Italian immigrants. According to celebrity chefs like David Rocco, the artichoke was so undervalued that some green grocers would give away the leaves for free.
Artichokes with Garlic, Lemon and Oregano
Cooking artichokes, like many greens, requires a careful eye if you want their verdant colors to shine through. Although delicate without seasoning the artichoke really shines when given the chance to grow with Mediterranean favorites like garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and lemon.
Like many Italian dishes, the star here is the dish’s natural flavors. The seasonings are meant to draw out what is most natural, and most sumptuous, in the dish’s centerpiece.
- 4 artichokes, trimmed from the vine and cut in half
- 8 gloves of garlic (2 per head)
- 4 sprigs of Greek oregano
- Half a lemon’s juice AND zest
- 3 tbsp. of your best extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon wedges and kosher salt, to taste
Trimming artichokes is a lot like whittling a piece of driftwood into a beautiful sculpture – although intimidating to look at, artichokes are incredibly tender when cooked properly. To prepare your ‘chokes make sure to:
- Trim 1-inch off the top of the artichoke
- Cut the stem to your preferred length, but not all the way to the base
- Clip the thorns off your artichoke petals and remove any tough leaves on the outer layer
- Slice in half
- Using a spoon or melon baller remove the soft ‘heart’ of the artichoke
With your artichokes prepped done, set your water to boil at 180F.
Place a knob of butter and one glove of garlic inside each half of your cleaned artichoke hearts. To stop the artichokes from browning too much during cooking make sure to rub them down with lemon juice. The acidity from the lemons will slow oxidation and keep them looking fresh throughout cooking.
In your vacuum sealable bag add your sprigs of Greek oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, and artichokes with butter and garlic. Seal carefully and submerge in your pot of boiling water.
Cook for a total of 2 hours and remove from the pot. Cut open the bag and discard the liquid, garlic cloves and stalks or Oregano.
Heat a saucepan to high heat while you brush your artichokes down with your best quality olive oil. Although pan-frying your artichokes will crisp them up, feel free to use a barbecue or grill if you want distinctive black char lines.
After up to 5 minutes on the heat, remove the artichokes and plate with lemon wedges. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
Check out the rest of our “Can you Sous Vide Vegetables” series for even more recipes.