Artichokes Al Ajillo
Artichokes are something you either like or you don’t. There is very little that can be done to sway a person who doesn’t like them and turn them into a person who does like them. I am the kind of person who strongly dislikes artichoke hearts. I have tried them many times with little difference in my opinion. However, Jeff made these, and they smelled so good that I just had to try them. The flavor was out of this world delicious and I would gladly experience it again, even though I was still a little iffy about the texture.
The name Artichokes al Ajillo (Art-eh-chokes al AH-he-yo) is a fusion of English and Spanish which means artichokes with garlic. This is considered a tapas dish, so kind of like a Spanish appetizer. Tapas are usually served with alcohol and eaten quickly, but these artichoke hearts demand attention with their intense flavor, so take the time to savor them. Alcohol is always a fun option, but not necessary to enjoy this particular tapas recipe.
This recipe uses a lot of olive oil and some people prefer to substitute that with butter, which is fine. Jeff says this substitution is suitable, but that you should never, under any circumstances, use margarine. For the artichokes, use only canned or frozen. If you use the marinated ones that are found alongside olives or the like, the entire taste of the dish will change. Marinated artichoke hearts tend to taste especially of vinegar, which is an undesirable flavor for this recipe. Be careful while you are cooking so you don’t break the fragile artichoke hearts. They require a gentle hand to retain their shape while they move around in the pan. Serve these straight from the pan with a good bread to clean up the juices with.
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bulb garlic, peeled and minced
- 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 Tbsp dry white wine, or cooking wine
- 16 oz artichoke hearts, frozen or canned
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Lower heat if it's browning too fast.
- Add tomatoes and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add wine and reduce for 2 minutes.
- Add artichoke hearts and cook for 5 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish (If desired).
- Serve with crusty bread.