These are so simple and so special. Put an artichoke half on a plate in front of your guests and it screams “dinner party,” even if your wardrobe for said dinner party screams “in my pajamas.” You may have cooked artichokes whole in the past, but slicing them down the middle helps them cook fast and tender. Serve them with my delicious aïoli and, if you can find it, a sprinkling of ground sumac, a tangy Middle Eastern spice.Tip: To clean the artichoke halves, cut out the fuzzy hairy “choke” but make sure to leave the creamy white heart underneath intact, since this is the prize after you're done scraping every individual leaf clean of its delicious tasty veggie meat.
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, smashed
8 cups water
½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
3 lemons, halved
2 artichokes, trimmed, halved, and cleaned
+ ground sumac (a tangy Middle Eastern spice; optional)
Slice, then spice. Very nice.