Recreating deli-style pickled artichoke hearts at home is surprisingly easy, and their texture and flavour are superior to store-bought. Don't be put off by the need to trim the artichokes. Once you prepare the first few, the rest of the batch will go quickly.
Juice of 2 lemons, plus 6 tbsp (3 oz.)
5 lb. baby artichokes
12-14 ice cubes
1-1/2 cups (12 oz.) white wine vinegar (6 percent acidity)
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt
Long, thin curls of zest from 4 lemons, removed with a cocktail citrus zester
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6 pinches red pepper flakes
1 tbsp fine herbes
1-1/2 tsp peppercorns
3/4 cup (6 oz.) extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1: Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids. (Watch this video for a how-to.)
Step 2: Half fill a large bowl with water and add the juice of 2 lemons. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the outer leaves until you reach the tender inner leaves. Cut off the top 1/2", then cut off the stem and trim any dark green skin from the base. Cut the artichoke into quarters, cut away any visible choke, and place in the lemon water.
Step 3: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of the lemon water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Return to the bowl of lemon water and stir in the ice cubes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, in a large nonreactive saucepan, combine the 6 tbsp lemon juice, vinegar and salt. Add 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt.
Step 5: Divide the lemon zest and garlic evenly among the jars, then add a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp fine herbes, and 1/4 tsp peppercorns to each jar. Pack the artichokes tightly into the jars to within 1" of the rims.
Step 6: Ladle the hot brine into the jars, leaving 3/4" of head-space. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to each jar, leaving 1/4"-1/2"of head-space. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the head-space, if necessary. Wipe the rims and seal tightly with the lids. Let the jars stand undisturbed for 24 hours, and then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, shaking the jars gently for the first week to mix the flavours.
Makes 6 half-pint (8-oz.) jars
See more recipes from Rick Field, Lisa Atwood and Rebecca Courchesne.
Reprinted with permission from Rick Field, Lisa Atwood and Rebecca Courchesne's The Art of Preserving (2012 Weldon Owen).