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I found these baby artichokes while I was perusing my local Whole Foods — I was so inspired with their color, and how cute and little they were! I used to eat artichokes all the time when I lived in California, but have gotten out of the habit now that they are not as common here in Seattle. Baby artichokes are not just smaller versions of a standard artichoke, but actually a miniature variety.
To prepare, they are whittled down until the tender inner leaves are exposed, tops chopped off to remove all of the prickly bits and then cooked. The outer leaves can then be simmered for a while to make a lovely artichoke broth. Don’t worry if you can’t find the fancy purple ones – regular small green artichokes will work just fine!
- 4 slices sugar-free, pastured bacon
- 1 cup water
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 4-5 pounds baby artichokes
- Cook the bacon slices in a cast-iron skillet on medium-low heat, turning a few times and cooking until they are nice and crispy (about 10-15 minutes depending on thickness).
- While the bacon is cooking, prep the artichokes. Place the water and lemon juice in a medium sized bowl and set aside. To prep the artichokes, take off a majority of the outer leaves, until all of the leaves are soft and edible besides the very top. Slice off the top portion, and cut in half. Place prepped halves in the bowl with lemon water, which prevents them from turning brown before you go to cook them. Repeat this process with all of the artichokes.
- When the bacon is finished cooking, set it aside, leaving the fat in the pan. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the artichokes. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring, until cooked throughout and browned on the edges. Crumble or chop the bacon into bits and serve warm with them on top.