Our friend Rob used to make an artichoke dish when we came to visit. He called it Carciofi. Pronounced Car-Cho-Fee. A little research confirmed that what he was making wasn’t actually Carciofi but it was really good anyway. Maybe I should call this Robciofi. If you don’t normally eat artichokes, these Roasted Artichoke Hearts will win you over. They’re really easy to prepare and they’re delicious!
Artichokes are one of those vegetables that most people aren’t very familiar with. They’re fairly high maintenance to prepare because the outer leaves are tough and need to be removed, along with the centre which is called the choke. Hence the name. That’s where canned artichoke hearts come into play. They’ve already been peeled and they’re preserved in a brine so they’re basically ready to serve.
Artichokes are actually a thistle, so why would anyone want to eat them? Well I love them! I could eat artichokes right out of the jar or can. I think it’s the briny taste. Which would explain why I also love olives, capers, tapenade, etc. I’m salivating right now thinking about Roasted Artichoke Hearts! But they do have a fair bit of nutritional value so it’s a win win!
Use the canned artichokes that aren’t seasoned, just preserved in brine. Drain them well and cut into pieces. I like to just cut them in half, otherwise they tend to fall apart easily.
Sauté some garlic in olive oil just until soft but not brown. Garlic burns easily so you just want to heat it to infuse the oil with the flavour. You can be generous with the olive oil because you want lots for roasting the artichokes.
Add salt and pepper, a splash of wine and some mint and oregano. Place the artichokes cut side down so they absorb lots of the flavoured liquid. The mint and oregano combination are used in true Carciofi. If fresh herbs are in season they’re the best but dried herbs are perfectly fine. Heat gently for about 5 minutes.
Rob served this by topping with Parmesan and heating in the pan until the cheese melted.
But I like to roast the artichokes in individual serving sized dishes. They just look nice this way for serving. And look at that colour! The Parmesan toasts on top of the artichokes and gives you a crunchy salty flavour pop!
If you prefer just pour the entire mixture into a medium sized baking dish or even just leave it in the pan as long as it’s oven safe. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and roast for 15 minutes or so.
You can make Roasted Artichoke Hearts in advance and roast later. Allow about 20 minutes, enough time for the artichokes to heat through and the Parmesan cheese to brown and caramelize on top. The roast setting in most ovens means the heat is coming from the top which is what you want. If you only have a bake setting, that’s fine, just turn to broil for the last few minutes to ensure you get that crispy browned top.
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Artichoke Hearts
- 2 398 ml cans artichoke hearts, not seasoned
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1/2 tsp fresh mint or 1/4 tsp dried
- 2 Tbsp white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Drain artichoke hearts and cut into halves.
- In large skillet, heat olive oil gently on low heat and simmer sliced garlic until soft. Add wine, oregano, mint, salt and pepper. Lay artichokes in pan flat side down and gently heat through.
- Stir artichoke mixture to combine well and spoon into 4 individual oven safe serving size dishes or 1 medium sized baking dish. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Roast on middle rack of oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. If preparing in advance and roasting later, cook for 20 minutes.
- If necessary, broil for last few minutes if top isn't browning.