Golden Baby Artichokes with Lemon Zest

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We have a number of men in our lives who just refuse to eat artichokes—the thistles, the choke, scraping the meager “meat” off the leaves with your teeth—frankly they think it’s too much work for too little reward. Add to this the idea of cooking artichokes scares a lot of people. What do you do with the choke? What are the things that prick your fingers? Why should I bother? Artichokes are intimidating! However, the beauty of these babies is that not only are they easy to prepare but you can eat the whole thing. They are so delectable and satisfying, we dare you to resist our golden sautéed baby artichokes.

artichokes

4 servings
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 pounds baby artichokes (about 9)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 small cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and add ¼ cup of the lemon juice. Peel off all the dark outer leaves of each artichoke until you reach the pale green inner leaves. (You might be tempted to leave some, but they will be too tough to eat.) Cut off the bottom ¼ inch of the stem, leaving the rest intact. With a vegetable peeler, remove the dark outer layer of the stem until you reach a pale green layer. Cut 1 inch off the top of the artichoke. Quarter the artichoke lengthwise and put it in the bowl of lemon water to keep it from turning brown. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Drain the artichokes and add them to the pot. Boil until tender when pierced with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in the oil. When it is shimmering, add the artichokes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook, flipping the artichokes occasionally until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes more.

Sprinkle on the remaining teaspoon of lemon juice, the lemon zest, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for 1 minute more. Serve hot.

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