A lot of our readers tell us they LOVE artichokes, but so many are afraid to prepare them.  This spiky and prickly vegetable is eaten in my family in a dip, and comes from a can.  Rather than risk another cookoff (as we did with pumpkin pie) Joshua and I concentrated on fresh artichokes.

We steamed them, cooked them with shallots, braised them, got them drunk on cider, and finally came up with a kickass recipe.  By braising them in cider we attained that “wow” factor so often missing in simple recipes, without scaring our guests with prickly points, and not exhausting ourselves in the kitchen.

What you do need however are good artichokes.  We used the very big ones found currently at the market in St Tropez, from our favorite farmer from Frejus, Marie Andree Bouvet.

Cider Braised Artichokes  


Serving Size: 4


2 artichokes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons rosemary, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 bottle cider
sea salt, to taste


To Prepare Artichokes:

Cut off the sharp points off of the top of each leaf, then cut off the stem from each artichoke and slice in half.



Carefully remove the purple leaves and the hairy portion covering the choke.


Rub the cut parts of the heart with a little lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.

To Braise:

In a large frying pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add rosemary and shallots and sauté until shallots are translucent.

Place the artichokes, sliced side down and fill the pan with cider.


Sprinkle with sea salt and braise until desired tenderness is reached, 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the artichokes.  Test the tenderness with a knife in the stem of the artichoke.  Remove the artichokes from the pan and place on a serving platter.  Reduce the remaining cider until saucy and season with salt if needed.  Spoon the sauce over the artichokes and serve hot or room temperature.