6 large artichokes, trimmed to the pale tender leaves, some stem left on if edible
1 cup loose mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoon mint leaves, sliced into fine chiffonade*
3 cloves of garlic-thinly sliced
2 lemons-sliced (optional) plus 1 lemon cut in half for rubbing the cut surfaces
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup dry white wine, such as a chenin blanc
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In the smallest pot that will hold the artichokes, scatter half the chopped mint and half the garlic. Put the artichokes in the pot, stem pointing up.
Scatter the rest of the garlic over the artichokes, then the lemon slices if you wish to use them. Scatter the remaining mint over all.
Mix the liquids and the oil in a separate bowl, then pour into the pot.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the pot tightly and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. At this point you can finish the dish in a pre-heated 400°F oven or cook it on the stovetop at a simmer. It will take about 45 minutes depending on the size of the artichokes. Make sure the top is tight for this dish as it is a steam bath effect that does the work.
When artichokes are done, remove from the pot and halve through the stem. Lay on a platter cup facing up and scatter with chiffonade of mint, drizzle with lemon and olive oil, and sprinkle over a pinch of coarse salt, then serve. Good hot or at room temp as an appetizer.
VARIATION: There a few versions of this, some of which involve stuffing the artichokes. For this, sauté a ¼ cup of finely diced onion and a clove of minced garlic. Toss with 1 cup of breadcrumbs and a ½ cup of finely chopped almonds. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil just so the crumbs will hold together.
Stuff this mixture into the center of the artichokes and pull the leaves together to seal the end. Proceed as above, but you may want to serve the artichokes whole or make sure your knife is good and sharp before halving the artichokes so you don’t blow stuffing all over the kitchen.
YIELD: 6 servings
SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Chef Andrew Cohen
* To “chiffonade,” stack the leaves on top of each other and then roll them from the tip to the stem. Then use a sharp knife to slice from one side of the roll to other as thinly as you can. The resulting thin shreds are a “chiffonade”. The word is both verb and noun.