ANGINARES ME LATHOLEMONO
These artichokes are some of the best I've ever tasted. The bulb is cleaned down to the heart, leaving just a hint of stem, and then slow-braised in white wine and lemon juice seasoned with garlic and fresh thyme. Serve this dish warm or chilled with crackers and antipasti, salads, and a pasta of wild mushrooms, or grilled fish. Fresh lemon juice is the key ingredient when you're preparing artichoke hearts. If you pop the artichoke hearts into the lemon juice mixture as soon as you've trimmed them, you'll prevent the hearts from oxidizing, which turns them brown.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a Dutch oven or flameproof roasting pan, combine all the ingredients except the artichokes and lemon halves.
3. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, pull off and discard the small bottom leaves. Snap off the thick outer leaves by bending them back and pulling them down toward the stem; the meaty lower section of each leaf should remain anchored to the heart of the artichoke. Continue removing the leaves until those remaining are tender and yellow. Cut off about two-thirds of the tops of the remaining leaves (to where the meaty part of the heart begins) then cut off the stem where it meets the base. Trim around the base of the artichoke heart to smooth the sides and remove any dark green leaves that are not tender. Scoop out the fuzzy choke with a small spoon. Squeeze lemon juice over the heart and add to the pan with the braising liquid. Repeat with the remaining artichokes, spooning the braising liquid over the other hearts in the pan each time you complete an artichoke.
4. Bring the artichokes and liquid to a boil on top of the stove. Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Braise until the hearts are tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 45 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the oven, uncover, and let the artichokes cool in the braising liquid. Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve chilled. The artichokes will keep, refrigerated in their liquid in a container with a tight-fitting lid, for up to 3 weeks.