Artichokes Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Pan Roasted Artichokes with Aioli

Artichokes are everywhere right now, and as they have always been one of my favorites that is fine by me. Whether you want to make the simple boiled version or the fancier pan roasted one pictured above I think you should consider adding this unique flower to your Valentine’s Day dinner table.

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Years ago we had Pan Roasted Artichokes at Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley that were so delicious we wanted to make them at home. We found this recipe from Williams Sonoma which fit the bill nicely, though we do serve ours with a side of aioli instead of pouring the pan juices over the top. We have made them countless times for dinner parties or family gatherings, but making them for just the two of us felt like a perfect Valentine’s indulgence!

Although the recipe does not say it is required to soak the artichokes overnight we have always done that, I am a big fan of prepping ahead of time! And plenty of soaking time can’t hurt since there is no additional water when you’re roasting them. The hearts in particular are so tender with this recipe, I really think you’re going to love it.

Be sure to cover the pan well using heavy duty aluminum foil and do not remove for the full 30-45 minute cooling time as you want all that steam to finish cooking the artichokes. They’ll be nice and tender and perfect temperature when you serve them. We’re used to dipping our leaves, so I made a quick aioli with mayonnaise, lemon juice, a touch of pressed garlic, salt, pepper, a pinch of oregano and fresh parsley. You can make that while the artichokes are cooking, but it is even better the next day so by all means make it ahead if you have time. I promise to post my aioli recipe when I can make a bigger batch, but since this was for just the two of us I just added a dash of everything listed to the mayo and whisked it together.

A little aioli mixed up with my teeny tiny whisk!

If you don’t have time for all the prep to make the pan roasted artichokes try this recipe for our simple boiled version. The key here is more red wine vinegar than you think necessary as well as the oregano. As the artichokes boil the oregano settles in the leaves which makes an impromptu aioli when you dip them in mayonnaise. Be sure to turn your artichokes periodically as they’re boiling for even cooking and start checking the leaves to see if they’re tender at the 30 minute mark, cooking time will vary depending on the size of the artichokes. If the water evaporates too much return the lid to the pot and lower the heat a little and they can finish with steam.

Just a few ingredients deliver a lot of flavor in this very simple recipe

Whichever of these two recipes you pick, there is no better date night than cooking dinner together. Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Easy Week Night Artichokes

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: artichokes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse artichokes and trim tops. Cut base so artichoke will stand up when placed on plate after cooking.
  • Fill large pot 2/3 full of water. Squeeze lemon halves into water and add to pot. Smash garlic clove with side of knife and add to pot. Add olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Place artichokes in seasoned water and cover pot. Bring to boil over medium high heat, then remove lid.
  • Boil, turning occasionally, until leaves are easily removed from artichoke, about 45 minutes. Drain well.
  • Serve with melted butter, mayonnaise, or aioli.

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