This homemade marinated artichoke hearts recipe isn’t as complicated as the cost of the store-bought stuff would lead you to believe. It’s one of the easiest recipes I have, and it only takes minutes.
So why the outrageous price at the store for a tiny little jar?
Homemade Marinated Artichoke Hearts
FLOWERS ARE SEXY
Did you know that artichokes are in the thistle family and trace their origins to the Mediterranean? In fact, artichokes are technically the flower buds of a thistle plant that haven’t blossomed yet.
First mentioned around 60 AD in The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides, archaeologists found artichoke seeds while excavating the ancient quarry of Mons Claudianus in Egypt and dated them back to the Roman period. Since the Greeks and Romans believed artichokes were aphrodisiacs, the seeds were probably there for the benefit of lovelorn quarry workers.
So firm was the belief in their aphrodisiac properties, in fact, that in many countries women were prohibited from eating artichokes until the 16th century!
The infamous Catherine de Medici, the wife of King Henry II, disregarded the superstition and introduced artichokes to the court in France. From there, they made their way to the Americas thanks to French and Spanish immigrants.
THEY COME FROM CALIFORNIA
It wasn’t until the 20th century that artichokes caught on in the United States. To this day, 100% of the U.S. commercial non-organic crop comes from Castroville, California — “Home of the Artichoke” — where you can pose with a giant artichoke for pictures while attending the annual Artichoke Festival.
Delicious on their own, homemade marinated artichoke hearts have a variety of uses.
- Try them in my Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts recipe (photo above).
- Use them as a pizza topping.
- Combine them with 10 oz. of defrosted, well-squeezed frozen spinach, 1 cup grated Parmesan, and enough mayonnaise to bind it together to make Artichoke Spinach Dip. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes and serve.
- Add them to salads.
- Stir into hot pasta and add a little freshly grated Parmesan, cracked black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Or make this quick and easy Artichoke and Kalamata Olive Spread that is delicious on toasted slices of baguette or as a dip for homemade pita chips.
This recipe stores very well. Frozen, it lasts up to a year. In an airtight container in the refrigerator, it stays fresh up to 2 months thanks to the chili flakes and lemon juice. That’s why I always try to keep a supply on hand — it’s one of my favorites!
Homemade Marinated Artichoke Hearts Recipe
My Homemade Marinated Artichoke Hearts recipe starts with simple ingredients. You can use canned or frozen hearts, unseasoned of course. If frozen, defrost them first. Either way, give them a good rinse and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Add the artichoke hearts, olive oil, and seasonings to a pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Don’t add the lemon juice until they’ve cooled — this keeps the artichoke hearts from changing color.
Let them sit in the pan to cool for 30 minutes or so until they reach room temperature. Then, transfer the entire contents of the pan, including the oil, to an airtight container.
Although they’re ready to eat as soon as they’ve cooled, they’re even better if you refrigerate them overnight, so the flavors have a chance to combine.
MAKE EXTRAS TO SHARE
You can quickly multiply this recipe if you’d like to make a larger batch. (Adjust the serving size in the recipe box below.) I often triple it — that’s how often we eat them!
Plus, it’s nice to have extras on hand to put in a pretty jar and add to a basket of dry pasta, homemade sauce, and other goodies to give as a housewarming or hostess gift.
Marinated Artichoke Hearts
- 2 cups unseasoned artichoke hearts frozen or canned
- ⅓ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano or ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon red chile pepper flakes crushed
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice (no substitutions)
- Rinse the artichoke hearts under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Over low heat, combine artichoke hearts, olive oil, salt, thyme, oregano and crushed chili flakes in a non-reactive saucepan. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in lemon juice.
- Let cool for 30 minutes. They'll taste even better if you wait overnight.