[I'm Kaa – Braised artichokes with lemon and garlic]

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Trust in me, just in me
Shut your eyes and trust in me
You can sleep safe and sound
Knowing I am around

Slip into silent slumber
Sail on a silver mist
Slowly and surely your senses
Will cease to resist

Trust in me, just in me
Shut your eyes and trust in me

No guys, I’m totally not trying to eat you. Human flesh just isn’t my thing. Please do not worry.
I need you to trust me though. You must fully trust me. The braised artichokes above might not look good, but believe me I could kill for them. Ok, now you can be scared.

I have to admit that those pictures – the one you see on this post – definitely aren’t my best. But I couldn’t not talk about these to-die-for treats (note: way too many death references here; but I’m fine people). I just couldn’t.

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I mean, look at that lemony gooeyness. Now, we’re talking. Soft and fragrant artichokes, very slowly cooked until confits. Again, this is an easy one. Just throw some garlic and halved artichokes in olive oil, cover with boiling water and simmer. Drain. Generously drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Voilà.
The recipe which got me inspired is much more complicated; but having had a busy day, I took the effortless way. Rose Carrarini first cooks some carrots, onions and celery; then adds the artichokes and garlic. I told you: infinitely more complicated.

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Hopefully, you’ve now trust in me and the next thing you’ll do after reading this will be to:
1. pick some artichokes from your garden (alternatively buy some)
2. peel them
3. halve them
4. cook them
5. eat them
By the way, I am absolutely not manipulating you.

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Artichauts confits au citron et à l’ail
Adapted from Rose Carrarini’s Rose Bakery.

These braised artichokes have the perfect texture and flavour. You’ll never see me spend seven euros on preserved coeurs d’artichauts. Never ever.
Here I used some small provençal artichokes, called les violets de Provence [literally, purples from Provence] thanks to their lovely colour.

Artichauts confits au citron et à l’ail

makes 20 artichoke hearts

3 lemons
10 small artichokes
6 tablespoons of olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a tsp of Maldon sea salt
zests from one lemon

Half fill a large bowl with water and the juice from one lemon. To prepare the artichokes, remove their stalks and the tips of their outer leaves, then peel them down to the pale leaves. Halve them and scoop out and discard the chokes.
Put the artichokes in the acidulated water as you go.

Heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and artichoke hearts.
Pour in enough water to cover and mix in the salt.
Cook over low heat during 20 to 25 minutes, until the water is fully evaporated and the artichokes are soft. Only a slow cooking will ensure soft and melt-in-your-mouth artichokes.

Drain and place the artichokes in a jar, cover with the juice from the remaining lemons, drizzle with olive oil and mix in the lemon zests. Serve with some crusty bread for a great nibble, or as part of a dish.