roasted baby artichokes with black pepper-lemon vinaigrette for dunking

roasted baby artichokes with black pepper-lemon vinaigrette for dunking | theclevercarrot.com

I suffer from appetizer anxiety.

Common side effects include: memory loss and the inability to create.

It’s true.

My ham + cheese puff pastry temporarily solved this problem but please, don’t rely on me for the pre-party nibbles. Too much pressure. Plus, what if I’m late to the gathering? I have kids! I’m always late. Everything will be ruined because me and the dip are lagging behind.

About that dip…

Who knew an abandoned dinner recipe would lead to instant appetizer success!

roasted baby artichokes with black pepper-lemon vinaigrette for dunking | theclevercarrot.com

The original plan was to make vegetable risotto.

I braved the crazed holiday shoppers to pick up the ingredients and scored these babies at the market. I love artichokes. Unfortunately, I rarely make them. The prep work, especially when cleaning the hearts, is a huge pain. My eyes glaze over just thinking about it. There’s way too much pulling, peeling, and hair removal involved (like a beauty treatment).

But the little ones are different.

Did you know the inside is edible? Even the choke. That means less work for you!

roasted baby artichokes with black pepper-lemon vinaigrette for dunking | theclevercarrot.comroasted baby artichokes with black pepper-lemon vinaigrette for dunking | theclevercarrot.com

So… the risotto never happened.

Instead, the baby artichokes were roasted to crispy perfection.

I tossed them with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a cast iron skillet for about 25 minutes. Then I made the vinaigrette. Rather than whisk the ingredients together I used a blender to emulsify. The processing power makes it thick. Like a dip. It’s much better this way for dunking because it won’t separate.

We almost drank that vinaigrette too, by the way. Good thing I made extra.

roasted baby artichokes with black pepper-lemon vinaigrette for dunking | theclevercarrot.comroasted baby artichokes with black pepper-lemon vinaigrette for dunking | theclevercarrot.com

I’d eat this any day for a easy, healthy appetizer. Be gone crudités!

Tips:

  • Artichokes have a natural ombre effect. The outer leaves are dark green and become lighter in color as you peel them away. The texture also changes from tough to papery thin. The secret is to stop peeling when you have removed about 3/4’s of the leaves revealing the light green, almost white center. That’s the sweet spot. If you do this properly your artichokes will get nice and crispy. Otherwise, they’ll be tough and chewy. Peel more than you think.
  • This recipe makes more than enough vinaigrette. Save some for salads and roasted vegetables.

roasted baby artichokes with black pepper-lemon vinaigrette for dunking
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10 hearts
Ingredients
Artichokes
  • 4-5 baby artichokes
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt + pepper
Black pepper-lemon vinaigrette
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, about 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • ¼ garlic clove
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
  • ¾ c. olive oil
  • salt + pepper
* This recipe makes more than enough vinaigrette. Save some for salads and roasted vegetables.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. To prep the artichokes, trim the bottom stem about ¼-inch. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the stem (like a carrot) to remove any thick, fibrous strands.
  3. Next, remove most of the outer green leaves. Keep peeling until you have reached the light green center (you will remove about ¾'s of the artichoke). The texture of the leaves will be papery thin.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut off ⅓ of the pointy top.
  5. Slice the artichokes in half lengthwise.
  6. In a large bowl add the artichoke halves, olive oil, garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Toss well.
  7. Transfer to an iron skillet placing the artichokes cut-side down.
  8. Bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes to ensure even browning.
  9. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Add the first 5 ingredients to a blender. With the machine running, slowly stream in the olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl.
  10. Remove the the artichokes from the oven.
  11. Arrange onto a serving platter or serve directly in the skillet. Enjoy warm, with vinaigrette on the side for dunking.

 

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Comments

    • Emilie says

      Thank Katrina! The lemon vinaigrette goes really well with the artichokes. There’s plenty extra in this recipe for salads, roasted veggies and other things… like drinking ;)

  1. Adrienne says

    I just saw a pin that used your Hawaiian Marinated Flank Steak photo, but the recipe was for the New York Times Slow-Cooked Roast Beef. Someone took your photo and attached it to that recipe on Pinterest. Just thought I’d let you know and you might want to water mark your photos.

    • Emilie says

      Hello Adrienne! Thank you for bringing this to my attention. My photos are watermarked (invisible) but I think this one slipped through the cracks. Such a sad, unfortunate thing but I appreciate the head’s up! Thanks again! :)

  2. says

    This is an absolutely gorgeous article. The recipe sounds fab, and for an artichoke challenged individual such as myself, quite doable. Your photographs, Emilie,just keep getting more and more beautiful. Brava!

    • Emilie says

      Adri, I was almost convinced an artichoke recipe would never make it to this blog. I can’t stand the prep. But you’d be surprised at how low maintenance the baby ones are. Since I only post recipes that I actually make at home, this was a natural fit! Next time you’re at the store grab some baby artichokes, pull back most of the leaves and give them a good roast. You’ll love them- the crispy edges are the best.

    • Emilie says

      I know! I usually have them steamed or stuffed but this is a great variation. Roasting them really brings out the flavor. And when you use the baby ones, you don’e have to dig out the choke. Try it! I think you’ll like it :) PS- don’t you live in the land of artichokes?

    • Emilie says

      Hello Kara! Thank you! What is it about appetizers? This is my biggest challenge in the kitchen. I do love a good bag of chips and salsa though. Throw in some guac too. :)

    • Emilie says

      They certainly seem intimidating, don’t they? Start with the baby ones. They’re a lot easier to handle, I promise! If you have a go, let me know how they turned out. Good luck Nicola! ;)

  3. says

    i didn’t know there were baby artichokes! exciting. i’ve only had home-cooked artichokes a few times and the prep always seemed like too much of an ordeal. these baby ones sound much more manageable. also, holy crap, that vinaigrette. yum!

    • Emilie says

      Oh yes! And they’re fantastic. I just learned that they have a short season so if you see ‘em, grab ‘em. You’ll still have leaves to deal with, but as you’ve mentioned, they’re way easier to manage. Plus, you don’t have to scoop out the hairy center which is always a pain. Enjoy!

  4. says

    Artichokes always intimidate me! I like them, and I’ve ordered really delicious ones from restaurants, but the one and only time I tried to prepare them at home I ended up with a pile of leaves and no clear understanding of what was actually okay to eat, so I kept peeling until nothing was left. It was a disaster and the whole pile ended up in the trash (which I absolutely hate to do). But I must say, those little artichokes of yours sound much easier to prepare and they look so good crisped up in a skillet! I’ll keep an eye out at my farmer’s market … fingers crossed!

    • Emilie says

      That is the worst- the confusion and the waste! I completely understand both angles. That’s why I was excited to post this because I felt like I was onto something Or at least I was beginning to understand the artichoke… The little ones are very easy to prep and with regards to peeling, just keep going until you get the the light green center. The leaves are really thin (and the ones you want to eat!).

      I’m so jealous you still have a farmer’s market. Our season is over. My heart aches.

  5. says

    I have a confession, Emilie. I’ve only bought fresh artichokes once in my life. I admit I’ve not given them the attention they so deserve. And I love artichokes! Your post has changed my mind. Thank you for the tips on what to look for when peeling and how to know when I’ve hit the sweet spot! And that dressing… I’ll take the extra and put a straw in it!

    Thank you for your inspiring post (I got a good chuckle out of your – ‘like a beauty treatment’! HeHe!!). Your photography is just beautiful!

    • Emilie says

      You and I share the same love/hate relationship. I was convinced I’d never blog about artichokes! But the baby ones are less intimidating. It’s a nice introduction. Once you roast these little cuties you’ll see what I mean.

      Now, if only our beauty treatments were that easy… xo

  6. connie raffa says

    Artichokes are in my top 5 foods. Grandma use to stuff them with garlic, bread crumbs, parsely, and anchovies sauted in olive oil. Umm delicious. You know what they say about artichokes – it might have choked Artie but it ain’t going to choke me. Sorry i couldn’t resist.
    Auntie Connie

  7. says

    Gahlly, I love this so much and am currently suffering from such disappointment because artichokes are nowhere near my face at the moment. My first reaction, to be quite honest, was: lovely, but those are WAY too much work. And then I read your post! (Isn’t it nice when people do that?) And they’re not that much work! They’re easy peaaaaas. Well, not peas. Arties! I shall also plan to pour myself two goblets of that dressing, too, whenever I get around to making these. One for guzzling, of course. ;)

    • Emilie says

      Hi Em! I totally agree with you- artichokes are a lot of work! And I never thought I’d blog about them for that very reason. And you know what? Even if you never make these artichokes that dressing is great on salads, asparagus, chicken salads… or in a goblet with a straw ;) Happy Holidays!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Cynthia! Thank you! Ah, appetizers… always a work in progress. But getting there ;) These are super fun to make (and eat!). x

  8. Sara says

    I am not able to get baby artichokes where I live; would the frozen artichoke hearts work for this recipe? Thank you!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Sara!

      You can definitely use frozen artichokes, but it won’t be exactly the same.

      Defrost them first, and dry thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel. Too much water present and they won’t crisp up. Toss with olive oil and garlic (as indicated in the recipe) and roast (425+ F) until golden. You’ll notice they they won’t be completely crispy, but the edges should get nice and colored. Prepare the vinaigrette and get ready to eat.

      Another option is to toss your roasted artichoke hearts with arugula and drizzle with vinaigrette. It makes a great salad. :)

  9. Stacee says

    I would love to try this but I see that you use fresh baby artichokes hearts, do you think it would work as well with frozen hearts? Even though I’m in CA (the artichoke capital) it’s not always easy to find them.
    Thanks!
    Stacee

    • Emilie says

      Hi Stacee! It’s funny- another reader just asked the same question (above).

      Here’s my copied my response:

      You can definitely use frozen artichokes, but it won’t be exactly the same.

      Defrost them first, and dry thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel. Too much water present and they won’t crisp up. Toss with olive oil and garlic (as indicated in the recipe) and roast (425+ F) until golden. You’ll notice they they won’t be completely crispy, but the edges should get nice and colored. Prepare the vinaigrette and get ready to eat.

      Another option is to toss your roasted artichoke hearts with arugula and drizzle with vinaigrette. It makes a great salad. :)

      If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

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