Oven ‘fries’ oil-packed artichokes
Artichoke season has long since passed but not my hunger for this inimitable vegetable.
Fortunately, high-quality artichoke hearts marinated in oil are within easy reach. And I’ve been indulging more than usual this past month amid a closeout sale at Medford’s Food 4 Less on a brand I’ve only recently come to know. Now I’m going to have to find another source.
Vigo Roman style marinated artichoke hearts are produced in Peru and are Non GMO Project verified. Packed in sunflower oil, these easily are the richest, most purely flavored artichoke hearts I’ve ever had from a jar. And I love how a good 2 inches of stem are still attached to each heart — almost as much as I’ve loved getting them for nearly $2 off each 12 ounce jar. The sale goes through the end of the month.
With many other artichoke brands, the oil isn’t so appetizing, but I could dip bread in the oil from these and even use it for salad dressing. It also recommends the artichokes for a recipe like this one from the Los Angeles Times.
I’m the only artichoke aficionado in my household, but frying always has a way of improving any food’s image for the uninitiated. These are, in truth, oven fried, but the squeeze of lemon may go a long way toward convincing my kids to try them.
A simpler take on Italian fritti, the recipe also requires no batter or breading. If you can only find artichokes packed in water or brine, which inhibits a crispy texture, drain them in a sieve, then press gently with paper towels. Scatter the artichokes on additional paper towels and let air dry for at least 30 minutes. Toss the artichokes with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet to roast.
2 jars (12 ounces each) oil-marinated artichoke quarters
Everyday olive oil, if needed (see note above)
Flaky sea salt, to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving
Heat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place a colander or sieve over a bowl and add the artichoke quarters, letting their oil drain into bowl. Transfer artichokes to prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil from bowl.
Bake artichokes in preheated oven, flipping each with tongs halfway through cooking, until golden brown and crisp all over, for 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer artichokes to a platter while hot and sprinkle with the flaky sea salt. Serve immediately with the lemon wedges.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.