Sweet-and-Sour Artichokes



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Sephardic Flavors: Jewish Cooking of the Mediterranean

Sephardic Flavors

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 2000

  • About

Artichokes are a Passover specialty all over the Mediterranean, as spring brings the best and most tender specimens. This is a Turkish recipe, but a similar dish, called enginares, appears in Nicholas Stavroulakis’s The Cookbook of the Jews of Greece and is attributed to the town of Drama.


  • 3 large, juicy lemons
  • 8 large artichokes
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Squeeze the juice from the lemons and set it aside. Squeeze any remaining juice into a large bowl of cold water and then drop in the spent halves. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove almost all of the leaves until you reach the pale green heart. Pare away the dark green area from the base and from an inch or so of the stem. Cut the artichoke in quarters lengthwise, and scoop out and discard the choke from each piece. Drop the quarters into the lemon water to prevent discoloration.

In a saucepan or a large, deep sauté pan, combine the 3 cups water, lemon juice, sugar or honey, oil, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, add the artichokes, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the artichokes are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. The timing will depend upon the size of the artichokes. Test with the point of a knife or with a fork.

When the artichokes are tender, remove from the heat and drain off most of the liquid, leaving only enough to cool the artichokes in liquid to cover (about 1 cup). Serve at room temperature.


Add the juice of 2 oranges and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the braising liquid. Or add a few thyme sprigs or 1 or 2 thyme sprigs and a bay leaf to the braising liquid.