Artichokes are tricky little monsters. Those outer leaves are basically weapons. The inner leaves cause serious esophageal damage because they look edible but are basically weapons. Now that I think about it, 90% of the vegetable is inedible.
The reason I’ve put up with artichokes for so long is because I enjoy a challenge and the hearts are delicious. Actually, I’ve started just buying them from my local épicerie, so forget the challenge thing. I use that extra time to trim my cuticles. Here is an amazing spring recipe that I make all the time at the château once it’s warm enough to walk outside in my negligee and you will LOVE it.
Grab a couple of hefty handfuls of baby red potatoes (roughly forty) and slice them in half. Drizzle a little bit more olive oil than you would normally use and toss in a bunch of garlic cloves. It really doesn’t matter how many. Maybe ten. Grind a few seconds worth of sea salt (pink himalayan if you can get it) and a bit of pepper for a kick, and then roast it for 25 lovely minutes in a hot oven.
Wait. I guess you need to know what a “hot” oven is. If you cook a lot, you instinctively know how to heat your oven and when the food is done. If you’re someone that needs to follow directions and can’t improvise we probably aren’t going to be friends, but you’re still reading this recipe, so I’ll elaborate. Very cool is around 110°C (225°F). You could cook a brisket for half a day and meander your grounds. Next comes very slow, around 250°F. After this comes slow, which is about 300-325°F. I like slow because I can cook a lot of things in the same amount of time it takes me to do short tasks, like fold a tiny load of laundry. It’s a very convenient temperature. Moderate heat is 350-400°F and hot is 450°F. This is serious heat. If there are charred bits of stuff in your oven (there are) they’ll burn and the smoke alarm will probably go off. You may need to evacuate, so think about what you’re going to bring. Extremely hot is 500°F and broiling is 550°F. I never use these because all that charred stuff = fire. Oh, I didn’t include Celsius temps because everyone in Europe already knows this.
Okay, so back to the recipe. Put the potatoes in a HOT oven, around 450°F. Monitor the smoke level, combine two cans of chopped artichoke hearts, two cups of arugula and a splash of vinaigrette (I like basic oil/vinegar with a teeny bit of truffle oil). Fold in the potatoes, put onto a cute platter, run outside, pour the wine and smile.