PAN-SEARED BALSAMIC ARTICHOKES
Artichokes are one of those vegetables that just seem like a hassle. Artichoke hearts are delicious – I buy them in cans or jars a lot – but getting a heart out of an actual fresh artichoke takes roughly 23 steps, and it’s a mess. Similarly, cooking fresh artichokes takes forever, and the payoff, while delicious, is small. Most of an artichoke is inedible.
Despite all this, when a friend gave me two artichokes so they wouldn’t go bad when he went out of town, I got excited. I haven’t had a whole fresh artichoke in years, and they’re tasty. When I first moved to Burbank about a decade ago, I got into a weekly habit of walking to the nearby farmers’ market, buying a fresh artichoke or two, boiling the crap out of them, and eating them with lots of butter and mayonnaise. My artichoke phase lasted a month or two, and I haven’t cooked a whole artichoke since.
When I got my hands on these artichokes, I was curious if there was alternate cooking method besides boiling, which is just so… boring. I came across a couple recipes for pan-seared artichokes, and decided that was the way to go. I read a bunch of recipes, and then took bits and pieces from a few of them to come up the method I’m going to describe right now.
Ready for my Pan-Seared Balsamic Artichokes? Spoiler Alert: This recipe calls for no added butter or oil whatsoever!