Braised Artichokes in White Wine


Every year, we get four or five nice-size artichokes in our garden. But when our friends’ kids come over, we have watched in horror as the artichokes became balls on a stick for them to play with, or spiky specimens in a game of tetherball. So we’ve learned our lesson and now make sure we harvest the artichokes before these invaders make their way into the garden.

This recipe is the grand treatment for the artichokes. After the initial braise in an aromatic broth of wine, garlic, and shallots, the artichokes are seared to give an extra layer of flavor and a contrasting texture to their soft hearts. They are so good that each person may eat at least two halves, so plan on making a big batch if you’re serving a crowd.


  • 6 medium artichokes
  • ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup (180ml) dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt



  1. Cut 1 inch (2.5cm) off the top of each artichoke. Peel off the tough outer leaves until you reach leaves that are a light yellow. Trim the stem to 1 inch (2.5cm) from the base of each artichoke. Place the trimmed artichokes in a bowl of water and squeeze juice from the lemon half into the water to prevent browning.
  2. In a wide pot, tall enough so the artichokes will be able to stand and the pot can still be covered, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the bay leaves, lemon juice, wine, ¾ cup (180ml) water, and the salt. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a simmer. Stand the artichokes, stems pointing up, in the poaching liquid. Cover.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the stems of the artichokes are tender.
  5. Remove the artichokes, reserving the poaching liquid. When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut them in half and scoop out the chokes (the fuzzy center parts).
  6. Simmer the reserved poaching liquid over high heat until reduced, about 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over medium–high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon butter and remaining tablespoon oil. When the butter is melted and no longer bubbling, add the artichokes, cut side down, and sear for 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned.
  8. Plate the artichokes and serve drizzled with the reduced poaching liquid.