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Tomato Braised Artichokes with Pistachio Pesto

AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES

The BEST way to enjoy artichokes is in this simple braised artichoke recipe cooked until perfectly tender with whole peeled tomatoes and served with a delicious pistachio basil pesto. It’s the only way I ever want to eat an artichoke again!

*This post is sponsored by Ocean Mist Farms. All content and opinions are my own.
Simple tomato braised artichokes cooked until tender and served with a pistachio basil pesto.

I grew up on stuffed artichokes as a staple in our holiday meals. Because of their limited appearance to holidays though I never really thought of them as an everyday kind of vegetable until much later in life.

I’m talking about fresh whole artichokes, not canned artichoke hearts.

Those obviously are amazing too but quite a bit easier to figure out how to incorporate in day to day meals like this Chicken Artichoke Olive Skillet (a great easy one skillet dinner!) or my end of summer vegetable bean skillet.

I still love a good stuffed artichoke but I’ll admit, finding an easier way to enjoy this great vegetable was something I was eager to dive into!

I think a lot of people agree but also aren’t sure what other ways there are to cook fresh whole artichokes so they skip over them at the grocery store.

Good news – I’m going to show you how easy it is to make braised artichokes with this recipe and I can pretty much guarantee once you taste them cooked this way, you’ll be buying artichokes weekly and never wanting to eat them another way.

Although, I’ll still love roasting baby artichokes too. It’s such a fun way to enjoy them and one of my favorite spring recipes to make!

And you can always grill artichokes for a fun summer recipe!

Braised artichokes cooked with tomatoes until fork tender and served with pistachio pesto are an absolutely delicious vegetarian side dish.

HOW TO SELECT FRESH ARTICHOKES

Before getting to the recipe for these tomato braised artichokes, let’s talk about artichoke selection.

Just like most produce, there are a few key things to look for when choosing a fresh artichoke (also known as a Globe artichoke):

  • the artichoke should feel heavy in your hand. If it’s surprisingly lighter than it looks, it’s likely old and dehydrated.
  • the color should be a nice healthy green all around.
  • leaves should be compact and look fresh not shriveled or curled. The tip of the artichoke should be relatively tight together.

You can read more about artichoke selection, storage and nutrition here.

HOW TO PREP ARTICHOKES FOR BRAISING

First, familiarize yourself with the anatomy of an artichoke if you’re not already. Instructions for preparation will make a lot more sense if you know the specific parts!

  1. Prep the artichokes by removing all the outer leaves until you get to the tender ones inside. Don’t be shy, you’ll probably pick off about 3 layers of the outer petals to do this.
  2. Cut off the tip of the stem and about 1″ off the tops using a sharp, serrated heavy duty knife. Then slice the artichoke in half lengthwise.
  3. Rub lemon over all the newly cut flesh to prevent browning (this also helps remove bitterness in the vegetable).
  4. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, carefully remove outer layer of the stem and base of the artichoke.
  5. Last, use a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works well for this) to scoop out the choke and pull out the spiky leaves. Rub all over with lemon again, set aside and prep other artichokes in the same way.

Once you braise artichokes, you'll never want to cook them another way again. Perfectly tender, full of flavor from reduced tomatoes, white wine and a deliciously nutty pistachio pesto.

BRAISING THE ARTICHOKES

Braising is essentially like stewing and that’s exactly what the prepared artichokes do in this chunky fresh tomato sauce mixture for almost an hour. 

The artichokes are nestled into a bed of whole peeled tomatoes (that you’ll crush with your hands to create a nice chunky texture), white wine, extra virgin olive oil and water where they’ll simmer.

Over the course of an hour, flip the artichokes a few times turning them into the sauce to make sure all the leaves are submerged at some point to get nice and tender.

One of the best parts about this braised artichoke recipe is that using this cooking method allows you to be able to eat the entire artichoke. Every leaf will be tender enough to swallow so there’s no need to have to suck off the flesh from the outer, tougher leaves while the discards pile up on your plate!

Braising artichokes results in the perfect fork tender vegetarian side dish. These cook down with whole peeled tomatoes and white wine and are served with a bright pistachio pesto.

MAKING THE PISTACHIO PESTO

While the artichokes braise, you’ll make the pistachio pesto in the food processor.

  • shelled roasted pistachios
  • garlic
  • basil leaves
  • mint leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • water
  • salt and pepper 

This pesto is such a great combination of nutty and fresh. The balance of the meaty pistachios with the fresh basil and mint is perfect when combined with the savory tomato sauce. It’s also a pesto made without any cheese so it keeps the recipe vegan as well.

When the artichokes are fork tender (you’ll know because the stems will basically break away from the top if not careful), stir in half the pesto mixture into the pot and combine with the tomato sauce.

Serve the remaining pistachio pesto when plated for people to spoon on top of their artichokes.

An easy recipe for braised artichokes with a chunky white wine tomato sauce and a bright pistachio pesto.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH BRAISED ARTICHOKES

I served these easy braised artichokes over a mixture of wild rice and tri-color quinoa. Other whole grain bases like millet, farro, barley or wheat berries would be great too. 

The heartiness of the artichokes makes this a very satisfying meatless meal as is.

I love that you get to enjoy all the parts of the artichoke from the leaves to the heart to the stem (which is often times sadly discarded and shouldn’t be!), it makes the experience of eating the artichoke feel like a much more complete part of the meal rather than just a side vegetable.

Of course though, you could always serve these alongside a protein of your choice. Flank steak comes to mind as a wonderful pairing or some roasted chicken.

NUTRITION BENEFITS OF ARTICHOKES

I wrote a guide to artichokes awhile back in a spring produce guide series (great to check out this time of year as we get into spring soon!) and briefly mentioned how artichokes are packed with antioxidants. 

Ocean Mist Farms has a wonderful resource page on artichoke nutrition that really delves deeper into some of the amazing benefits this delicious vegetable has to offer. 

With gut-boosting (artichokes are a great source of both pre and probiotics), anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, appetite reducing, sleep promoting and blood sugar balancing properties it’s certainly superfood status!

Braising artichokes is the answer to the fussy annoyance of ripping off leaves to eat this amazing vegetable. Cooked slowly in a chunky tomato sauce with white wine and then served with pistachio pesto, these artichokes are FULL of flavor and SUPER tender. #braisedartichokes #artichokerecipe

If you’re looking for more spring recipes like these easy tomato braised artichokes, try one of these:

Lemony Shaved Asparagus Tomato Salad
Brown Sugar Candied Carrots
Roasted Radishes with Rosemary and Honey
Spring Pea and Radish Risotto
Soba Noodles with Leeks, Sweet Onions and Egg

tomato braised artichokes

Tomato Braised Artichokes with Pistachio Pesto

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

The BEST way to enjoy artichokes is in this simple braised artichoke recipe cooked with whole peeled tomatoes and served with delicious pistachio pesto.

Ingredients

FOR THE ARTICHOKES

  • 3 large Ocean Mist Farms' artichokes (or 4 medium)
  • 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut in half

FOR THE PESTO

  • 1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

FOR THE ARTICHOKES

  1. Prep the artichokes by removing all the outer leaves until you get to the tender ones inside. Don't be shy with this, you'll end up removing at least 1/4-1/3 of the outer leaves!
  2. Cut off the tip of the stem and about 1" off the tops using a sharp, heavy duty knife. Then slice the artichoke in half lengthwise. Rub one of the lemon halves over all the newly cut flesh to prevent browning.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, carefully remove outer layer of the stem and base of the artichoke.
  4. Next, use a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works well for this) to scoop out the choke and pull out the spiky leaves. Rub all over with lemon again and set aside.
  5. Place the whole tomatoes into a large pot or Dutch oven, slightly crushing them by squeezing with your hands.
  6. Add the red pepper flakes, wine, water, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Place the prepared artichoke halves into the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  8. Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let cook for about 1 hour, turning the artichokes every 15-20 minutes and submerging them in the sauce.
  9. When the artichokes are fork tender (stems will almost be falling off the tops), carefully transfer them to a serving platter.
  10. Stir half the pesto mixture into the reduced tomato sauce in the pot then spoon over artichokes on the platter.
  11. Serve with remaining pesto over a bed of cooked wild rice or tri-colored quinoa.


FOR THE PESTO

  1. While the artichokes cook, make the pesto by combining all the ingredients except water in a food processor.
  2. Process/pulse until finely chopped, scraping down sides as needed.
  3. With the food processor running, slowly add the water until incorporated.
  4. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside until needed for the artichokes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 221mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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