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2000s Recipes + Menus

Artichokes Braised with Garlic and Thyme

Serves6
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:1 hr
April 2005
Food editor Maggie Ruggiero learned this method of cooking artichokes from a close friend of hers, Betty Alfenito, “prop stylist and cook extraordinaire.” We love the wonderful pan sauce it yields, as well as the way it infuses the artichokes with a subtle hint of garlic.
  • 6 medium artichokes (1/2 lb each)
  • 18 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and left unpeeled
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Special equipment:

    a 6- to 8-qt heavy pot wide enough to hold artichokes in a single layer (about 11 inches in diameter)
  • Accompaniment:

    crusty bread
  • Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut off top inch of artichoke and gently pull open center. Scoop out sharp leaves and fuzzy choke from center with a melon-ball cutter or a spoon. Trim bottom 1/4 inch of stem (if present), keeping stem attached, and peel stem. Put artichoke in a large bowl of cold water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
  • Remove artichokes from water and push 3 parsley sprigs into center of each. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then add artichokes, thyme sprigs, garlic, 1/4 cup water, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover pot and braise artichokes, turning occasionally, until artichokes are browned in spots and bases are tender when pierced with a knife, about 35 minutes.
  • Transfer artichokes, thyme, and garlic to a platter. Add remaining 3/4 cup water to pot and deglaze by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Pour pan juices (they will be dark) into a small bowl and stir in extra-virgin olive oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Squeeze pulp from 2 of garlic cloves into juices and mash into sauce with a fork.
  • Divide artichokes and remaining garlic cloves among 6 plates and drizzle with sauce. Garlic cloves can be peeled and spread on crusty bread.
Cooks’ note: Artichokes can be cleaned and trimmed 8 hours ahead and kept in bowl of water in refrigerator.
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