Oven-Roasted Artichokes

History tells us that Jews were among the first to consider artichokes as food rather than a weed. Confined to the ghetto in Rome nearly two thousand years ago, they had to get creative about procuring fresh vegetables, so they turned to the spiky, cone-like objects growing wild around them, which they smashed and fried into the delicacy known as Carciofi alla Giudia. I grew up eating artichokes prepared in the conventional way: steamed in a pot for a really long time, where they’d grow heavy with water. My updated method, where the artichokes are cleaned, halved, and roasted facedown, yields a firmer texture but still allows you to scrape the tender meat from each leaf. A whole head of garlic, which steam-roasts right in the pan with the artichokes, forms the basis for a garlicky dressing that replaces the drawn butter or mayo of my California childhood, updated for my grown-up life in Tel Aviv. 

star