This is one of those dishes that deserve the extra effort of trimming artichokes. I made it the other day when I was home alone and it took every bit of self-restraint I had to keep myself from eating the whole thing before shooting the photos.
The fried capers are really fun and pretty and they add a nice textural contrast to the dish. Just be very careful with the hot oil splattering. Drying them really well before frying will help prevent splattering and using a pot with deep sides will help contain the splatter. If you have a splatter screen, use that, too.
- 4 medium artichoke hearts, with trimmed stems attached
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- cup or so of grape seed oil for frying
- 2 tablespoon capers, rinsed and dried well
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
- several thin shavings of Pecorino Romano
- lemon juice, to taste
Cut each artichoke heart into thick lengthwise slices, about 6 slices per artichoke. Heat a skillet or wide saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil.
Spread the artichoke slices evenly in the pan. Brown both sides of the artichokes, about 5 minutes on each side.
In the last 2 minutes on the second side, add the garlic slices and stir.
When the garlic slices are fragrant and soft, add salt, pepper and wine, cover the pan, and cook the artichokes until tender over medium-low heat, about 10 minutes.
While the artichokes are cooking, heat oil in a small, deep saucepan over medium heat until oil is about 360°F. The oil is hot enough when a caper dropped into the oil sizzles and bubbles form around it. Make sure the capers are dried very well to minimize splatter, and even then, be very careful. A tablespoon at a time, fry the capers for about a minute. When they are done, they will be crispy and have opened up like little flowers. Drain them on paper towels.
When the artichokes are done, remove from heat and toss in the parsley. Squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice, to taste.
Spoon the artichokes onto a serving dish. Sprinkle with cheese and capers. Serve hot.