Sometimes when you’re inspired by a recipe you end up in a different place. That was the case for today’s dish of artichokes with orange and capers.
I was browsing Heidi Swanson recipes for I Heart Cooking Clubs and her recipe for Braised Artichokes really jumped out at me. I loved the idea of the orange rind, but wasn’t as enthusiastic about some of the other flavors. Not to mention I had no desire to buy a bunch of fresh artichokes and trim them. But I did have a jar of artichoke hearts in the pantry so I thought I could come up with a stovetop version of her dish.
A few other substitutions, parsley for mint and capers for olives, and the dish came together. It has a nice briny flavor from capers, brightness from the orange peel and herbiness (I didn’t think that was a real word, but my computer recognized it…) from the parsley. Not to mention the tender bite of the artichoke itself.
The artichoke hearts came in a jar that weighs about a pound. After cutting them in half, you should have enough for 6 to 8 tapas sized servings or as a side dish for 4 people. Leftovers can be used cold in salads, warmed and served over rice, or, as Heidi suggests, in an omelet. If you’re a fan of artichoke dip, you could also use these to add a little different flavor to your own version.
- 1 jar artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half (about 1 pound jar)
- orange peel from half a large orange, pith removed and cut into strips (could also use the zest)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
- red pepper flakes
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- splash of white balsamic or similar vinegar
- Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a large skillet
- Add the halved artichoke hearts and allow to cook, undisturbed, until they take on some color
- Stir in the orange peel, capers and a splash of white balsamic vinegar. Be gentle when stirring so you don't break up the hearts.
- Right before serving mix in the parsley.
- To serve, arrange the halved artichoke hearts on a small plate with the parsley, capers and orange peel. Drizzle a bit of olive oil around the plate.
It’s funny how I started out with an oven braised recipe and ended up with a pan roasted version. It’s one of the things I love about cooking. You can use the same ingredients, alter the flavor profile slightly, and come up with something different. It’s also a good way to learn how to cook without using a recipe…start with a base and add to it to suit the ingredients you have and your own tastes.