It’s artichoke season and. I’m. here. for. it. I love artichokes. And if you can find them for a good price (you know, not $3 a pop), they’re 100% worth the effort it takes to clean them. Last year, I shared a great stuffed artichoke recipe and details on how to clean an artichoke, which you can find right here. To make a braised artichoke, you’ll clean them in a bit of a different way, so keep reading on!
After prepping the artichokes, you whip up a mint pesto with mint, basil, artichokes, olive oil and salt. Then you nestle the artichokes into a simple tomato sauce with white wine to braise for about an hour. Once the artichokes are fork tender they’re ready to be enjoyed – with extra pesto, obvi.
Just look at these beauties! Braised artichokes are definitely my new favorite way to enjoy the veg. You remove all of the rough leaves that don’t have much meat, and really get to enjoy the heart, stem and more meaty leaves. I love the earthiness of an artichoke, and really do love the experience of eating an artichoke. That bit of extra work just slows you down and gives you time to enjoy.
So to braise artichokes, you need to prep the little pokey suckers. First, remove about 1/3 of the leaves from the outside and just toss them. Then, slice the artichoke in half. Then trim the top so none of the spikes are left, and shave the stem with a vegetable peeler. Next, using a pairing knife, carefully remove the fuzzy prickly bits of the artichoke heart. They’re very bitter and sharp and you don’t want to eat them.
Once you’ve done all of this peeling and cutting, rub every bit of the artichoke with lemon to keep the artichoke from oxidizing. Repeat with the rest of your artichokes!
These are an excellent make-ahead dish, too! I whipped these up earlier in the day and set them aside for dinner with friends in the evening. We loved them, couldn’t get enough of them, and I wished I had made more of them!
Let me know when you make these!
Tomato Braised Artichokes with Mint Pesto
Mint Basil Pesto
- 1 bunch mint washed, dried
- 1 c basil washed, dried
- 8-10 garlic cloves
- 1/2 c olive oil
- salt to taste
- 5 artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 2 c chicken broth
- 1 c white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- To a stand mixer or blender, combine all ingredients and blend until a smooth paste is created. Set aside.
- To clean the artichokes, remove the outter 1/3 layer of leaves.
- With a vegetable peeler, peel the stems.
- Slice in half, trim the very top of the leaves to create a straight line and remove all pokey tops.
- Remove the spikey bits of the hearts.
- Rub all parts of the sliced artichokes with a lemon, set aside and repeat with remaining artichokes.
- Top each artichoke half with a bit of pesto, reserving some of the pesto for serving.
- Combine all ingredients in a pot and stir to combine.
- Nestle the artichokes in the tomato sauce, pesto side up.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 60 minutes.
- Turn artichokes every 10-15 minutes to keep rotating them in the sauce.
- Artichokes are ready when they’re fork tender.
- Remove artichokes from the sauce, tenting with foil, and reduce the tomato sauce for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, until thickened.
- Place artichokes in serving dish, top with sauce and remaining pesto. Serve hot.
- To make ahead: prepare according to the instructions until the artichokes are fork tender. To reheat, bring to a simmer and until the artichokes are hot. Remove the artichokes, tent with foil and reduce the sauce according to the instructions. Serve hot with the reduced tomato sauce and pesto.