Artichokes with Fennel, Mint, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Written by CMP on September 13, 2008
Artichokes and fennel

One of the great things about keeping this site going is that it forces me to experiment.

It's so easy to get stuck combining the same ingredients in the same manner over and over. I've made stuffed artichokes so many times that I wanted to try something different with them this time.I had some pine nuts left over from the last time I made Pesto and it struck me that fennel would be a good companion to braised artichokes. Anyway, this is what I came up with.


  • 3 Artichokes
  • 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Fennel Bulb, cut length-wise into long pieces
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Cup of White Wine
  • Juice from 1/2 of a Lemon
  • 12-15 Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Fill a large bowl with ice water and squeeze half a lemon into the bowl. Prepare the artichokes as follows:

  1. If the stem is still attached, cut off the bottom 1/4 inch. Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel away the fibrous outer layer of the stem.
  2. Using a paring knife or a kitchen scissors, cut off the tough outer leaves of the artichoke. These are the darkest green leaves with the sharp points.
  3. Cut the artichoke in half, length-wise
  4. Using a spoon or a paring knife, remove the purple inner leaves and the fine strands that make up the choke.
  5. Place artichokes in the bowl of ice water as you finish them (this will help keep them from turning brown.

Head a large, deep, skillet over medium-high heat. Then the pan is just about hot, remove the artichokes from the water and pat dry. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the pan, then place the artichokes in the pan, cut side down. Leave them there without moving them for 5-7 minutes, until they develop some nice brown color.

Remove the artichokes from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the chopped fennel, salt, and pepper. Saute the fennel for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the wine to the pan and turn the heat up to High. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Return the artichokes to the pan, cut side up, and cover the pan. Simmer for 25 minutes, then remove the artichokes and place on a serving dish. Turn the heat to high once more and add the lemon juice. Cook for 2 more minutes, add the mint, stir, then pour the contents of the pan over the artichokes.

Top with pine nuts that have been salted and toasted in a 375 degree oven for 5 minutes (be sure not forget about them - the burn fast).

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