The Convenience of Roasted Artichokes with Fennel and Tarragon

Canned artichoke hearts get revived in a glorious way in this simple recipe.
Canned artichoke hearts get revived in a glorious way in this simple recipe.

We interrupt this program for a nifty little side dish recipe.

It’s one that’s highly worthy of your attention because it utterly transforms frozen or canned artichoke hearts into an easy side dish sure to impress.

What I especially love is that the slightly off-putting tinny and acidic taste of plain canned artichoke hearts is vanquished in this method, leaving them as vibrant as fresh ones in season but without all the prepping usually involved.

“Roasted Artichokes with Fennel and Tarragon” is from “Vegan Cooking for Two,” of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen includes more than 200 recipes handily scaled for plant-based households of two. They feature hearty grains, proteins such as tofu and tempeh, beans galore, plant-based ground meat, and plant-based cheeses.

There’s everything from “Garlic and Herb Burgers with Beet Tzatziki” (made with plant-based ground meat), “Charred Cabbage Salad with Torn Tofu and Plaintain Chips,” and “Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese” to “Meaty Zoodles with Mango and Garam Masala” (made with plant-based ground meat, plant-based yogurt, and zucchini noodles), and “Individual Lemon-Poppy Seed Cakes” (made with plant-based butter and plant-based egg).

Yes, I’m married to a man whose nickname is Meat Boy. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate side dishes full of veggies like this one.

The baking pan is preheated to give the veggies an extra blast of heat right from the start.
The baking pan is preheated to give the veggies an extra blast of heat right from the start.

The key to this dish is blasting frozen, canned or jarred (in water) artichoke hearts in a very hot oven on a preheated baking pan. The heat of the oven helps evaporate their excess moisture, leaving them caramelized with crispy edges.

The recipe didn’t specify to cut the artichoke hearts in half, but you will want to do so to create more surface area for them to contact the hot pan, and thus crisp up in more places. I added that instruction to the recipe.

The tarragon and fennel play off one another so well.
The tarragon and fennel play off one another so well.

The artichokes roast on a sheet pan with sliced fennel and a whole garlic clove. Once cooked, chop up the garlic and whisk it into a simple dressing of lemon juice, mustard, and chopped fresh tarragon.

The tarragon marries beautifully with the sweet anise quality of the fennel, in this roasty tasting dish that would be right at home in Provence.

Enjoy with rice or lentils. Or serve as a side to most any protein, if you’re not necessarily vegan. Or mound atop grilled bread to make a tartine with or without mozzarella or burrata.

Or if you’re the type always on the lookout for new and fuss-free holiday side dishes, bookmark this one for sure, knowing that this recipe doubles or quadruples easily.

Now, back to your regular programming.

Feast your eyes on all the wonderful crisp edges.
Feast your eyes on all the wonderful crisp edges.

Roasted Artichoke Hearts with Fennel and Tarragon

(Serves 2)

9 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry (or canned or jarred ones in water), cut in half

1 small fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and sliced thin

1 garlic clove, peeled

5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Pinch of pepper

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

Adjust the oven rack to middle position, place aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss artichokes and fennel with garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, and pepper and carefully arrange in single layer on hot sheet. Roast vegetables until browned around edges, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mince roasted garlic. Whisk garlic, lemon juice, mustard, tarragon, and remaining 2 teaspoons oil together in large bowl. Add vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Note: You can substitute other fresh leafy herbs such as parsley or basil for the tarragon.

Adapted from “Vegan Cooking for Two” by America’s Test Kitchen

More Artichoke Recipes to Enjoy: Twice As Nice Artichokes

And: Vietnamese-Style Sauteed Artichokes

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  • I was initially suspicious of a recipe calling for one sad & lonely clove of garlic, but seeing that this ultimately goes into the dressing allowed me to breathe easy. Guessing this is an extremely delicious combination of flavors, and I too will be making it immediately. Thanks, yet again, Carolyn for another likely “keeper”!

    Also, that cookbook looks like a sure-bet gift for my beloved plant-based family members in So. Cal. Thanks too for that welcome recommendation!

  • Hi Carroll: You are too funny! I am the same way — if a recipe typically calls for only one clove of garlic, I always use at least two. But in this case, the one clove works just fine to add flavor but not overpower the fennel and tarragon.

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