Lemony good artichoke hearts!


Just the word lemon causes my taste buds to perk up. There are all kinds of lemons... Lisbon lemons are small and seedless. Eureka lemons are the most common. Meyer lemons are a sweeter variety and have a hint of orange flavor. There are even pink lemons and thanks to a good friend with a yard full of tropical fruit trees, I've been lucky enough to try one!  

Lemons are the most common flavor enhancer after salt and pepper. Lemons yield more juice at room temp than a lemon that is cold. However, since lemons are susceptible to mold it’s best to store them in the refrigerator crisper drawers. To maximize your juicing, leave your lemon out for a couple of hours before juicing. Roll the room-temperature lemon on the counter and apply light pressure with your hand as you roll it. Then cut and squeeze.

The zest is also an amazing flavor enhancer. But for today’s recipe all you need is the juice. So if you're jonesing for a lemony rich appetizer or super tasty vegetarian dinner? Look no further.

ARTICHOKE HEARTS FRANCAISE 
1 can (14-oz) quartered of halved artichoke hearts, drained 
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup olive oil
1/2 of one garlic clove, finely grated
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 stick unsalted butter 

Place artichoke hearts in a colander to drain. Season flour with salt and pepper. Add half of the chopped parsley to beaten eggs. Dredge artichokes in flour, then place floured artichokes in beaten egg mixture. Place on a lightly floured plate while preparing pan for cooking.

Heat saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic. Cook garlic to light brown. Test oil by drizzling egg mixture into it. Place artichokes into hot oil. Cook until golden brown on each side, turning only once. Remove cooked artichokes; keep warm. 

Drain nearly all of the oil from sauté pan and return pan to stove. Add lemon and white wine to de-glaze and reduce. Place artichokes on a platter. Add butter to lemon-wine mixture. Swirl until melted. Drizzle over artichokes, sprinkle with a little more chopped parsley and serve immediately as a first course for four or place artichokes over cooked pasta before adding the Francaise sauce as a main dish for two. 

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