Pan Roasted Artichoke with Garlic and Lemon
2 lemons, quartered
4 large artichokes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
6 cloves garlic, crushed
Fill a large bowl with cool water and juice the quarters of 1 lemon into the bowl. One at a time, remove the tough outer leaves from an artichoke to expose the light yellow core. Peel the stem end of the artichoke, keeping about 1 inch of the stem intact and exposing the pale, tender core. Trim 1 inch off the top of the artichoke and cut the artichoke in half lengthwise through the center.
With the tip of a spoon, scoop out the furry choke. Add the cleaned artichoke halves to the lemon water and repeat with the remaining artichokes. Keep the artichokes in the water until ready to cook; they will keep 1 to 2 days in the water. Before cooking, spread the artichokes on paper towels, sliced side down, to drain and pat dry.
In a large, wide-bottom saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until nearly smoking. Sprinkle the pan generously with salt and pepper. Carefully place the artichokes, sliced side down, in the pan, making sure they lie flat. Season the tops with salt and pepper and slip the garlic into the spaces between the artichokes. Cook, occasionally shaking the pan to keep the artichokes from sticking, until they are evenly browned underneath, 6 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, lift 1 or 2 artichokes up to check for doneness.
Add the remaining lemon quarters to the pan, place a piece of foil over the pan and cover with a lid to seal tightly. Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered. Let the artichokes cool to room temperature, 30 to 45 minutes. Transfer the artichokes to a serving platter. Squeeze the juice out of the cooked lemon wedges into the pan and whisk to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Pour the juice over the artichokes and serve. Serves 4.