Serves 2-4, depending on portion size
For the Chili Oil
(makes about ⅓ cup)
⅓ cup olive, avocado, or grapeseed oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons red chili flakes (aleppo, anaheim, etc)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes, and cook, swirling pan often, until the garlic is just beginning to turn a light golden brown (about 3–5 minutes). Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Store leftovers in a jar in the fridge for a few months (if it lasts that long!).
For the Pecorino ‘Gremolata’
2 ounces pecorino cheese, cut into ½” pieces
1 tablespoon parsley leaves
Zest your lemon, and set zest aside. Add cheese to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until you reach the consistency of small pebbles. Add parsley and half of the lemon zest (we’ll use the rest of it shortly), and pulse until everything is incorporated. Set aside.
For the Artichokes
Zest of ½ lemon (use remaining zest from the Gremolata)
1 lemon (use the one you removed zest from for the Gremolata)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ yellow onion, small dice
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons vinegar (red or white wine or apple cider vinegar)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons high heat oil (like avocado or grapeseed)
First, prep your artichokes - note: it’s best to do these one at a time. Pull off the darker outer leaves until you get to the light green/yellow inner leaves (a little darker green at the very tip is fine). Using a sharp knife (try to avoid using carbon steel knives when working with artichokes, as it will discolor them. Stainless steel knives work great!), slice off the top third of the artichoke. Trim off the end of the stem and remove the fibrous outer layers of the stem with a small knife.
Cut your lemon in half, and slice the artichoke lengthwise in half. Scoop out hairy choke with a spoon, or slice it away with a paring knife. Rub all the surfaces with one of the lemon halves, and squeeze some lemon juice into the choke space. Set your artichokes aside.
Heat a large pot (stainless steel or enameled cast iron) with a lid over medium heat. Add olive oil and, once hot, add your onions, garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until everything is translucent and soft but not brown. While this is cooking, cut your artichoke halves in half again and set aside. Once onions and garlic are ready, add your chili flakes, stir everything together, and cook another minute. Add your lemon zest, stir again, and cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute before adding your artichokes, spreading them out as evenly as you can. After about 30 seconds, turn off the heat and immediately pour your white wine and vinegar into the pan. Give everything a stir and turn the heat back on to medium high. Let the alcohol evaporate off by cooking for 1 minute, then add your water and a big pinch of salt. Wait for the water to boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with the lid. Let everything cook for 8-10 minutes, checking to see if they are done by piercing the thickest part of the stem with a paring knife. If it goes in and out easily, they’re ready. Remove from heat.
Using a slotted spoon, fork, or tongs, remove artichokes from the liquid and set aside to drain for 10 minutes (we like to put them in a colander to let any liquid drain out). Reserve the poaching liquid to add to soups, pasta, or to drizzle over the artichokes before serving if you’d like.
Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add your high-heat oil, and once shimmering, carefully add your artichokes (note: any liquid will splatter when it hits the oil, so go slow!). Cook each side of the artichokes for 3-5 minutes, or until browning and getting crispy on the edges. Do this in batches if you need to, adding more oil and reducing the heat if oil starts to smoke. Arrange artichokes on a serving plate when they’re ready.
Chili Oil (recipe above)
Pecorino ‘Gremolata’ (recipe above)
Garnish your artichokes with a squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of flaky salt, a dusting of Pecorino Gremolata, and drizzle of chili oil. Enjoy immediately!