Now that I am finally living in my own place, with my own stuff, after nearly 2 years, I am re-exploring my cookbook collection. Ironically, just before I ended up putting everything in storage and moving in with various family members, I went on a cookbook buying rampage. The culprit was Bart’s Books, the amazing and adorable open-air bookstore in Ojai, CA (featured in the film Easy A).
Bart’s Books, a house and courtyard converted into a bookstore, had tons of vintage cookbooks (located in the kitchen of course) and at $2-$5 a pop, I indulged. Vintage meant from the 1970s and 80s and many of the Sunset Magazine series on world cuisines – Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish – made it on my shelf. While The Taste of Spain Cookbook was printed in 1991, 20 years – a generation – ago counts as vintage to me. I found this artichoke recipe while breezing through it and with my infamous love of the ‘choke and a few baby artichokes still at the farmers’ market, it made the cut.
This is a mild flavored dish, no hot peppers to spice it up. But the sherry adds a mellow flavor that compliments the artichokes nicely. If you’re using large artichokes, cut at least 2 inches off of the tops since they will never really soften in the cooking.
Sherry Braised Artichokes, Andalusian Style from The Taste of Spain Cookbook
20 baby artichokes (8 regular size)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup sherry or dry white wine
fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 lemon, cut in wedges
Remove outer tough leaves and trim stems and cut off 1/2 inch of top leaves if using baby artichokes and top 2 inches if using large. Quarter baby artichokes; cut larger ones in eighths. Gently saute onion and garlic for about 4 minutes in olive oil; do not allow them to color. Add artichokes, wine and season with salt and nutmeg and cook gently with a cover set askew until done, 20-40 minutes, depending on the size. When an outer leaf comes away easily it is done. Add more water if the liquid evaporates. Squeeze lemon wedge over all and serve.
Recipes currently inspiring me: