This makes an easy and elegant hors d’oeuvre for any meal. The artichoke mixture can be made a day ahead of time, refrigerated overnight and served at room temperature the following day. This recipe serves 6 as a side dish and 8-10 as an appetizer.
1 lemon, halved, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 large artichokes
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, quartered
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
Slices of crusty French bread to accompany
Preheat the oven to 325°. Squeeze most of the juice from the halved lemon into a large bowl of water. Pare off the end of the artichoke stems and peel them. Remove the dark green outer leaves. Slice off all but 1 inch of the remaining leaves.
Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and scoop out furry chokes. Cut halves in half again, rub with lemon, add the artichokes to the lemon water and allow them to soak for half an hour.
Combine the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice with the olive oil, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in a large, ovenproof skillet. Drain the artichokes thoroughly and put them in the skillet, then bring them to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring the mixture occasionally.
Move the skillet to the oven and roast the artichokes for about 40 minutes, stirring a few times, until they are tender and browned in spots.
Discard the bay leaf, add the parsley and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley, season the artichokes with salt and black pepper and let them cool to room temperature.
Spoon the artichokes and their cooking liquid into a bowl, serve with the bread and prosciutto and get ready for compliments!.