Frozen artichoke hearts are a reward for those of us who love big globe artichokes but don’t always have the time to trim and cook fresh ones. Fresh or frozen, I like artichokes best when they taste clearly of themselves. All they need are simple seasonings to flatter their distinctive taste. With that in mind, these are enriched with browned onion bits, a restrained splash of balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkling of nutty grated Parmesan. The result is enhanced flavor without any of the enhancers getting the upper hand.
Yield: 3 servings
One 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts
1 small onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add artichokes and cook until firm-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well. Finely chop onion.
2. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in artichokes followed by onion. Sprinkle with oregano. Cook artichokes until lightly browned and onion nicely browned, stirring frequently as onion browns, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat at any point if onion starts to brown too quickly.
3. Reduce heat to low and add balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon water. Scrape up browned bottom of pan as liquid evaporates, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Variation for Artichoke Hearts with Onion, Balsamic Vinegar, and Parmesan Cheese
Serve the artichokes warm or at room temperature as an antipasto. Dress them with a little extra olive oil and season a little more highly with oregano and vinegar.
Dressing Artichoke Hearts with Onion, Balsamic Vinegar, and Parmesan Cheese Up
Omit the grated Parmesan and with a vegetable peeler shave strips of Parmesan from a wedge directly over the top of the artichokes.
Twelve-ounce bags of frozen artichoke hearts are available in some markets. They make enough for 4, so increase the rest of the ingredients by about one-third. And if you find larger bags in a discount club, it’s good to know that one 9-ounce box measures a somewhat generous 2 cups.