Tender, baby artichokes are blanched, then topped with parsleyed crumbs, and baked until the crumbs are golden in this recipe for baby artichoke gratin! I love gratins and it was time to add a new one to the site, so enjoy.
I’ve had an artichoke gratin on my list all year long. But I couldn’t find a baby artichoke anywhere to save my life! Then, just recently, I was browsing through the produce section on my local market, and there they were.
Baby artichokes. A whole pile of them. 🙂
Let’s just say that I’ve been cooking LOTS of artichokes in past few weeks. Sauteing, baking, roasting, tossing them into dinner. I don’t know when I’ll see them again, so I want to have a few recipes all tested and photographed before they disappear. Which means, of course, that when you see baby artichokes in the store, you’ll have a plan.
Since gratin was at the top of my list (and is obviously a dish I love to make!), that’s where I started.
I considered various gratin-y options. Cream. Cheese. Layering the artichokes with potatoes. And so on. These were all good ideas, and one or more might make an appearance for my next artichoke gratin. However, I wanted this gratin to be all about the artichokes, which meant I needed to keep it simple.
This gratin comes down to artichokes and flavored bread crumbs. That’s pretty much it and that’s all you need!
Tip: American baby artichokes are not young artichokes! They are just small artichokes. However, European baby artichokes are baby artichokes. How’s that for confusing?
When I planned this recipe, I intended to bake the artichokes right in the gratin dish and then top them with the crumbs at the end. You can do this, but it takes forever! In my recipe notebook I wrote down TAKES TOO LONG in all caps. With exclamation points. 🙂 If you have an hour + to kill, you can bake them in the oven all the way through. However, if you want to eat sometime tonight, pull out a large pot and simmer them up for a few minutes. It’ll take a good 40 minutes off the cooking time.
I think that’s worth washing a pot.
One other note to make is that the husband was in favor of more butter. I like about a tablespoon in with the chokes. Two tablespoons is very nice. Only use three if your arteries and waistline can handle it. It’s quite rich with three! (But, I will admit, tasty.)
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 1 1/2 lb baby artichokes
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400F.
Begin heating a large pot of salted water on high. Set out the artichokes and have a large bowl of water with 3 tbsp of lemon juice added. Trim off the stems and the top third of each artichoke. Peel off the tough, outer leaves until you reach the light green and tender inner leaves. Cut the artichoke in half or in quarters, depending on the size. Then add the artichoke to the lemon water. Once you are done, transfer the artichokes to the pot of boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and blot dry.
Spread out the artichokes in a gratin dish. Mix in the remaining one tablespoon lemon juice, butter, wine, and salt. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
While the artichokes are baking, make the bread crumbs. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and stir to combine them with the butter. Keep stirring occasionally until the crumbs have started to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and parsley, cook for another 2 minutes.
When the timer goes off, take the artichoke gratin out of the oven, remove the foil, and top with the bread crumbs. Put the gratin back in the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are deep brown and the artichokes are tender.
The recipe is easy, but does take some time since you will need to trim and prep all the artichokes. Once you get a rhythm going, you can move along at a decent clip. It helps the workflow to set out a container for the discarded leaves/ends and a big bowl of lemon water for the cut artichokes.
If you are using fresh lemon juice, a little zest is nice in the bread crumbs (about 1 tsp), but it's not strictly necessary.