I bought them at an outdoor market at a park in Thessaloniki and was saving them for a special occasion. But four months later now, I started to worry they might end up like the last piece of chocolate I have tucked away from my time in Italy.
Preheat the oven to 350.
then mixed about 1/2 C oil with a few squeezes of lemon juice, 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic, and a couple pinches of salt. Stir with a fork to emulsify (those little peppercorns were from the jar).
Toss to coat, and pour into a baking dish in a single layer. You may add more oil at this point if there isn’t enough to cover the artichokes. Pop them in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the center of the hearts feel tender when poked with a fork.
Now for the spanakorizo, or rice with spinach.
The artichokes were delicious and I’m glad I didn’t save them until it was too late to use them. This is also the first time I made Greek rice that tasted really good, and was similar to what we had during our cooking lesson in Tinos. The key is not being afraid to add lots of olive oil and dill, and maybe a bit too much salt. And more olive oil. Normally you’d add a little lemon to the rice, too, but I left it out since the artichokes gave it a mild lemony flavor.
I saved all the oil from my baking dish, complete with little bits of garlic and dill, plus the flavor of the artichoke. It smells and tastes great, and I’d like to hurry and put it to use before it goes bad.
Do you buy locally-made food items when you travel? If you do, do you save them for a special occasion or just treat yourself?