I love artichokes! When I was a young girl, steamed artichokes with lemon-butter was one of my favorite veggies. I was always so excited when my Mom would say: “We are having artichokes for supper!” Artichokes can be intimidating, but they really are quite easy to prepare! Once cleaned and trimmed, they’re easy to cook. Plus, they are packed with fiber and antioxidants and are low in calories, too.

To trim and clean artichokes, cut off the top 1⁄2- to 1-inch of each artichoke to remove the “spiky” top.
Cut off any remaining spiky tips with kitchen shears. Trim away the tough edges of the stem. Rinse each artichoke under cold water, spreading the leaves to rinse out any residual dirt or sand.
To eat and artichoke, simply pull off the leaves one at a time, starting with the outermost leaves near the bottom of the artichoke. Draw the base of the leaf through your clenched teeth to scrape off the soft portion, and discard the rest of the leaf. As you progress upward from the base, the leaves will become more tender, with larger edible portions. When you reach the hairy choke, remove and discard it using a teaspoon. What remains is my favorite part–the artichoke heart–which you can then cut and eat. Be sure to provide empty bowls at the table for discarding the inedible part of the leaves.

Here’s a yummy way to serve this fabulous vegetable. My Caramelized Balsamic Artichokes are flavorful and fun to serve for a special meal!

1

ABOUT THE RECIPE:

These sweet-and-tangy artichokes make a sensational first course or snazzy side when you’re having company over. The artichokes can be cooked up to a day in advance, allowing you to finish making the dish in about fifteen minutes.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

2

INGREDIENTS:

ARTICHOKES:

2 artichokes, trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons tamari
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

BALSAMIC DIPPING SAUCE (See note for optional dipping sauce.)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon brown sugar or maple syrup
1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

3

INSTRUCTIONS:

To prepare the artichokes, put about 4-inches of water in a deep saucepan large enough to hold all the artichokes snugly so they remain upright as they cook. Put the artichokes in the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. (SEE NOTE)

Decrease the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender, rotating the artichokes halfway through the cooking time. They are done when an outer leaf peels off easily.
Drain and let cool slightly.

4

Cut the artichokes in half vertically. Scoop out the fuzzy center choke with a teaspoon. Let cool for at least 1 hour, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

5

About 10 minutes before serving, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Put the artichokes in the skillet cut-side down and drizzle the tamari over them. Cook until just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook the other side until just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add a bit of water to deglaze the pan.

Turn the artichokes again so the cut side faces down. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and simmer until the liquid is reduced and the artichokes are glazed and browned, about 2 minutes. Turn again and cook the other side until browned, about 2 minutes, adding a bit of water as needed to prevent sticking.

6

Meanwhile, to prepare the dipping sauce, put 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the artichokes warm, with the dipping sauce alongside in small bowls.

7

NOTE: To trim and clean artichokes, cut off the top 1⁄2- to 1-inch of each artichoke to remove the spiky tips. Cut off any remaining spiky tips with kitchen shears. Trim away the tough edges of the stem. Rinse each artichoke under cold water, spreading the leaves to rinse out any residual dirt or sand.

SAUCE VARIATION:
Herbed Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend or dried dillweed

Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and adjust the seasonings to taste. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve the sauce well chilled, in prep bowls or small dipping cups.

Ingredients

Directions

1

ABOUT THE RECIPE:

These sweet-and-tangy artichokes make a sensational first course or snazzy side when you’re having company over. The artichokes can be cooked up to a day in advance, allowing you to finish making the dish in about fifteen minutes.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

2

INGREDIENTS:

ARTICHOKES:

2 artichokes, trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons tamari
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

BALSAMIC DIPPING SAUCE (See note for optional dipping sauce.)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon brown sugar or maple syrup
1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

3

INSTRUCTIONS:

To prepare the artichokes, put about 4-inches of water in a deep saucepan large enough to hold all the artichokes snugly so they remain upright as they cook. Put the artichokes in the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. (SEE NOTE)

Decrease the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender, rotating the artichokes halfway through the cooking time. They are done when an outer leaf peels off easily.
Drain and let cool slightly.

4

Cut the artichokes in half vertically. Scoop out the fuzzy center choke with a teaspoon. Let cool for at least 1 hour, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

5

About 10 minutes before serving, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Put the artichokes in the skillet cut-side down and drizzle the tamari over them. Cook until just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook the other side until just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add a bit of water to deglaze the pan.

Turn the artichokes again so the cut side faces down. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and simmer until the liquid is reduced and the artichokes are glazed and browned, about 2 minutes. Turn again and cook the other side until browned, about 2 minutes, adding a bit of water as needed to prevent sticking.

6

Meanwhile, to prepare the dipping sauce, put 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the artichokes warm, with the dipping sauce alongside in small bowls.

7

NOTE: To trim and clean artichokes, cut off the top 1⁄2- to 1-inch of each artichoke to remove the spiky tips. Cut off any remaining spiky tips with kitchen shears. Trim away the tough edges of the stem. Rinse each artichoke under cold water, spreading the leaves to rinse out any residual dirt or sand.

SAUCE VARIATION:
Herbed Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend or dried dillweed

Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and adjust the seasonings to taste. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve the sauce well chilled, in prep bowls or small dipping cups.

Caramelized Balsamic Artichokes
Recipe from Chef Laura Theodore’s cookbook: JAZZY VEGETARIAN: Lively VEGAN Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious, 10th Anniversary Edition. Learn more about this wonderful book or buy a signed copy HERE.
Artichokes are considered to be the “lobster of the vegetable world!” I hope you will give this tasty, powerhouse veggie a try!
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