Braised Artichokes with Anchovy Pesto



Recipe Information

Total Time: 

1 hour 10 minutes; 30 minutes active



Are you an artichoke lover? In this flavorful braise, the bottoms and stems are the stars of the show, as they simmer to buttery softness. Anchovies deliver an umami-rich, salty punch to the pesto, but if you are not an anchovy fan, you can substitute Kalamata olives.


  • 1-1½-ounce jar anchovies in oil (or ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil or parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 artichokes
  • 1 large lemon, halved


  1. In a food processor, combine the anchovies and their oil (or olives), garlic and basil or parsley. Process to mince finely. Scrape down and repeat, then scrape down and process while drizzling half of the olive oil through the feed tube. Blend until smooth. Reserve.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine the remaining olive oil, wine, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes and salt, and stir to mix. Put the pot over low heat.
  3. On each artichoke, tear off the first row or two of outer leaves. Use a sharp knife to cut the point of the cone off about an inch from the tip. Use a paring knife to trim away the skin around the base of the artichoke and peel the stem, leaving it intact. Rub the trimmed part of the artichokes with the lemon half.
  4. Open the center of the artichoke, gently pulling back the leaves to expose the cone in the center. Use a spoon to scoop out the center and the fuzzy choke, then squeeze a little lemon into the cavity.
  5. When all the artichokes are trimmed, spoon the reserved pesto into the cavities of all the artichokes, then spread any leftover on the bases, and nestle the artichokes in the tomato mixture as you go. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low to simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about 35 minutes, until a paring knife pierces the base of an artichoke with no resistance. Transfer the artichokes to a serving bowl and bring the sauce to a boil for about 5 minutes, until thickened.

Serving Suggestion

Serve as the perfect side dish with pasta or seafood.

Nutritional Information

430 calories, 19 g. fat, 5 mg. cholesterol, 980 mg. sodium, 53 g. carbohydrate, 22 g. fiber, 16 g. protein