Artichoke Hearts w/ Blood Orange Sauce

85°C (185° F)
Temperature
Sous vide time
2 People
Serves
Medium
Difficulty

Introduction

The height of artichoke season is upon us! Mid-February in California, where nearly all of America’s ‘chokes’ flourish, is prime time for these fussy, unopened flowers. When their leaves eventually open, they are a beautiful, bright lavender color. The only edible part of the artichoke, however, is its heart. “The tender-hearted / upright / artichoke / girded itself as / a warrior…” wrote the poet Pablo Neruda in his famous Ode to the Artichoke. To get to this thistle’s core, it takes true persistence and practice. In our new recipe for sous vide artichokes, we’ve included each step for stripping away the stubborn layers like a pro. We also made sure to find the perfect citrus-choke combination by using blood orange juices to give the dish a romantic, rosy blush.

Ingredients

  • 4 globe artichokes, trimmed down to their hearts
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme plus more for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup blood orange juice (use 2-3 oranges)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

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Introduction

The height of artichoke season is upon us! Mid-February in California, where nearly all of America’s ‘chokes’ flourish, is prime time for these fussy, unopened flowers. When their leaves eventually open, they are a beautiful, bright lavender color. The only edible part of the artichoke, however, is its heart. “The tender-hearted / upright / artichoke / girded itself as / a warrior…” wrote the poet Pablo Neruda in his famous Ode to the Artichoke. To get to this thistle’s core, it takes true persistence and practice. In our new recipe for sous vide artichokes, we’ve included each step for stripping away the stubborn layers like a pro. We also made sure to find the perfect citrus-choke combination by using blood orange juices to give the dish a romantic, rosy blush.

Directions

Method for Sous Vide Artichokes

  1. Preheat your Nomiku water bath to 85ºC (185ºF).
  2. Trim your artichokes down to their soft hearts in six steps (Steps 3-8 below).
  3. First, prepare a bath of acidulated water by squeezing the juice of 1 whole lemon into a medium-sized bowl filled with two quarts of cold water. This prevents the artichokes from becoming brown as you peel each one individually.
  4. Peel away the tough outer leaves of each artichoke with your thumb and forefinger. Continue to peel until you reach the pale yellow-green leaves at the base.
  5. When you reach the base, use a sharp paring knife or serrated knife to cut through the artichoke where the leaves are a darker green color. This will reveal the fibrous center, otherwise known as the ‘choke.’
  6. Use a pointed teaspoon or grapefruit spoon to scrape out the fibers.
  7. With a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife, peel away any dark green outer skin on the base of the artichoke. Only the tender, pale green flesh should remain. Please note that if you bought your artichokes with their stems still attached, they are just as tasty as the heart.
  8. Finally, put the peeled heart into your bowl of acidulated water. Repeat all five steps with your remaining artichokes.

Seasonal Sous Vide Blood Orange Sauce

  1. In a small sauce pot, combine the garlic, wine, thyme, a generous pinch of kosher salt, and black pepper to taste.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to low heat, then simmer for 1 minute. Afterwards, remove the pot from heat and add in the juice of 2-3 blood oranges.
  3. Put the artichoke hearts in a quart-sized heat-safe bag, pour in the liquid from your small sauce pot (include the slivers of thyme and crushed garlic), and seal the bag using the simple water displacement method.
  4. Carefully lower the bag into the water bath and sous vide for 1 hour at 85ºC (185ºF).
  5. When the artichokes are ready, take the bag out of the water bath and set it aside to cool for at least 5 minutes. You may also choose to chill them in the bag and refrigerate for use at a later time.
  6. If you’re ready to serve the sous vide artichokes, pour the liquid from the bag into a cup or bowl to save for the sauce. Use paper towels to blot the artichoke hearts, garlic, and thyme.

Sauté your Sous Vide Artichoke Hearts

  1. Next, heat the ¼ cup of olive oil in a small skillet or sauté pan over medium heat until it simmers.
  2. Add in the sous vide artichokes—top side down—and fry them while tilting the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the oil. The artichoke tops touching the pan will turn a deep golden brown color within 5 to 6 minutes. When this happens, tip the artichokes onto their sides and add the thyme and garlic to the pan. Sauté for 1 more minute. Note: If your artichokes don’t have stems, simply flip them over.
  3. Remember the liquid you saved from the heat-safe bag? Now it’s time to add that to the pan. Be sure to watch out for splattering oil while you pour! Cook everything on medium heat, swirling occasionally, for about 5 more minutes until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy texture. Remove the pan from heat and discard the garlic and thyme.
  4. Transfer the sous vide artichokes from the pan to a warm serving bowl and pour (or spoon) the sauce over them. For the final touch, we recommend a garnish of freshly picked thyme leaves and additional cracked black pepper based on your preference. Serve immediately because these hearts don’t stay warm for long.

Nom Tips

  1. If you can’t find blood oranges at the market but still want the pink blush of color, replace the white wine on the ingredients list with a dry rosé.
  2. Artichokes are notoriously difficult to pair with wine because of a compound called cynarin which exaggerates sweetness. Thankfully, cooking your artichokes in wine first, then frying them in oil, solves this problem.

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