Fresh From Nancy's Garden

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Baby Spring Artichokes Braised with Thyme, Marjoram and Lemon

I’m always happy when baby artichokes are in season and I can I pick them fresh from the garden. But last month when I added all new soil and compost to the planter on my deck, my three-year-old artichoke plants went into shock and didn’t survive. So until later this summer, I must rely on Trader Joe’s or Farmer’s Market. 
Today I decided that if I had to use store-bought artichokes I would overcompensate with fresh herbs from the garden. But which ones? Basil…parsley? No, today I knew I wanted something different–something original. That’s when I spotted the English thyme and marjoram.
I’ve always liked thyme and marjoram together (I use them in my pea soup) so I thought, why not with artichokes? Together with garlic, shallot, lemon, wine and chicken broth I discovered a new savory taste for one of my favorite spring veggies.  
It’s an easy recipe, even if you’re not a confident chef. It just takes a little time to prepare the artichokes for braising.
  • 4 small artichokes
  • 3 TBS olive oil (maybe 4 depending on your pan and the heat)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine or vermouth 
  • 3 lemons 
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped small
  • 1 small shallot chopped 
  • 4-5 small sprigs of thyme chopped
  • 2 sprigs marjoram chopped
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
1.  Cut the artichokes in half and immediately rub the cut side with lemon. Put them in cold lemon-water to keep from browning.

2. Pull off the tough outer leaves until you reach leaves that are pale green. Scoop out the small fuzzy chokes–they should come out easily with a spoon, but use a thin sharp knife, if necessary. Trim the bottoms.

3. Heat 3 TBS olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saute pan. Add garlic and shallot and cook over medium heat until just fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic and shallot. 
4. Dry the artichokes with a soft cloth and add them to the pan, cut side down. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
5. Deglaze with the wine then add the chicken broth, thyme, marjoram and a squeeze of lemon. For an extra kick, add the red pepper flakes.
6. Cover and cook over low heat until they are very tender and liquid is almost gone, about 15-20 minutes.

7. Arrange in a shallow serving dish and drizzle with remaining sauce. Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and as always, enjoy.


Categories: Appetizers & Beverages, Sides, Vegetables


2 replies

  1. Always tasty looking Nancy. Clear pictures and great instructions. Have you found you second calling? Keep up the good work.

  2. thanks for the recipe, nancy. i would never think to braise artichokes, i've always steamed them. looking forward to trying them this way!

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