There’s something about the ocean air that clears my head and often leaves me with a hearty appetite. When I make a dish like this one, deceptively cozy and yet light, it feels so satisfying. I feel even better making a dish that’s so meaty from only vegetables. Sometimes I serve this spooned over slices of toasted Italian bread. I like to get all the ingredients ready and just cook everything when I get home from the beach.
(Serves 4 to 6)
6 medium globe artichokes
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, grated
1 cup pearl onions, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup shelled green peas
leaves from 4 sprigs fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Prepare a bowl of cold water that is large enough to hold the artichoke hearts. Cut 2 of the lemons in half and add the juice and the halves to the water. Use a paring knife to trim the dark green skin from the stem and the base of each artichoke, but do not cut off the stems — they’re edible and make for a more beautiful presentation. Remove the outer leaves from the artichokes and slice about 2 inches off the top of each artichoke and remove the small (and sharp-tipped!) inner leaves. Use a small spoon to scoop out the fuzzy choke from the center of each artichoke. Split the artichokes in half lengthwise. Cut the remaining lemon in half and rub the cut side of one half over the artichokes to prevent them from discoloring. Submerge the artichokes in the lemon water.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallots and onions in a single layer, and season with salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the artichokes and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is completely reduced, 5 to 8 minutes. Add about 1⁄2 cup water and cook over medium heat until the artichokes and onions are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the peas and simmer until they soften, 2 minutes. Then stir in the tarragon and a generous squeeze of juice from the remaining lemon half. Sprinkle with the cheese. Serve immediately.