"No stemming, blanching, or trimming of outer leaves required."
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The bay leaves give these artichokes a subtle woodsy, almost piney flavor, and you can really taste the citrus and spice. They would be perfect in salads (naturally), as a pizza topping, or as part of an antipasti platter.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to do a bit of food styling for the legendary cookbook author Patricia Wells. She was in New York to promote her new book, Salad as a Meal. I was hired to prep ingredients for two recipes she was demonstrating at the Alliance Française.
Not only did I get to stay for the event, which included a conversation with Ina Garten, but I also scored a copy of Patricia's new cookbook. I haven't really put it down since. All the recipes sound amazing: Lobster Salad with Green Beans, Apples, and Avocado! Chicken Salad with Peas, Feta, and Mint!(!) I know what I'll be having for dinner most nights this summer.
On top of the salads, Patricia also offers up recipes for pantry staples, like this one for marinated artichoke hearts. As a lover of fresh artichokes, I find the jarred ones at the supermarket a bit, well, gross. Too often they're salty and limp, and the marinade tastes like bad Italian salad dressing.
The best part of Patricia's recipe is that it uses frozen artichoke hearts—so easy! No stemming, blanching, or trimming of outer leaves required. She preps her artichokes simply, simmering them with cider vinegar and bay leaves, and then packs them in jars with more bay leaves and topping them off with olive oil. I added fresh lemon zest and a pinch of red pepper flakes to my version to boost the flavors and give the artichokes a little heat. If you can find fresh bay leaves (I scored a bunch at Dean & Deluca for $2) definitely use them, but if you can't, dried bay leaves work just fine, too.
The bay leaves give the artichokes a subtle woodsy, almost piney flavor, and you can really taste the citrus and spice. They would be perfect in salads (naturally), as a pizza topping, or as part of an antipasti platter.
This recipe yields three 8-ounce jars of marinated artichoke hearts. They will keep for at least a month in the fridge. Mother's Day gift, hmm?