Over the long weekend at Smallpeace, I had a little more kitchen time to devote to slightly more labor intensive dishes, such as Roman-style artichoke hearts braised in olive oil and white wine. Some of you had asked about this dish a few weeks back, so here it is. If you’ve ever been daunted by this delicious thistle, take heart! This recipe is so worth the effort. Plus, artichokes are just so darned pretty.
Artichoke Hearts Braised in Olive Oil, with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce
(Makes 5 first course or side dish servings)
2 lemons, halved (reserve the juice of one for later)
5 medium artichokes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup or glug of dry white wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
3 strips lemon zest
3 anchovy fillets, minced
Flat-leaf parsley for garnish
To begin, trim artichokes into hearts [See photo collage and cleaning directions from SmittenKitchen.com, below]:
Add lemon halves to a large bowl of cold water, squeezing to release juice.
Cut off top inch of 1 artichoke  and bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base (keep stem attached). Discard several more layers in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves.  Cut remaining leaves flush with top of artichoke bottom using a sharp knife.  Trim dark green fibrous parts from base and sides of artichoke.  Peel sides of stem down to pale inner core.  Put in lemon water while preparing remaining artichokes.
When your artichokes are clean, arrange them in a baking dish, cut sides facing up. Add zest and thyme. Pour in olive oil until it comes halfway up the artichokes, and then pour in wine to just cover them completely. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until all the splattering has stopped and the wine has evaporated. The outer edges of the artichoke hearts should be lightly golden.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the artichokes to paper towels to drain. Measure 6 tablespoons of the cooking oil into a small saucepan and add the chopped anchovies. Sizzle over medium heat until the anchovies have dissolved. Remove from the heat.
When ready to serve, arrange the artichokes on a serving board or platter, shower with the juice of the remaining lemon, and sprinkle with sea salt and chopped parsley.