Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Artichoke Hearts in Olive Oil

In the Aegean region, when artichokes are in season, the most common way people cook them is to stuff whole heads of fresh artichokes with seasoned ground beef and onions. Cleaning and removing the outer tough leaves is a fairly labor intensive process, so I usually cook the meatless, olive oil based version. Besides, I prefer the taste of the vegetarian version better. I use frozen artichoke hearts and frozen peas, but fresh dills. Original Istanbul recipe calls for artichoke bottoms (no leaves, only the tender , flat bottoms) and fresh fava beans. I modified the recipe to a practical version for what’s available in the markets year round. Here it is:

  • 1 16 oz package of frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 8 oz frozen petit peas
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup fresh dills, chopped
Wash and drain frozen artichoke hearts, set aside. Place olive oil and chopped onions in a pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add artichoke hearts, lemon juice, salt and sugar (optional) to the pot. Add boiling water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to slow, let it cook for about 15 minutes, until artichokes are tender. Add the frozen peas, cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer into the serving dish. Garnish with chopped fresh dill. Serve at room temperature.

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