Pan Roasted Baby Artichokes With Pistachios, Lemon And Black Quinoa Recipe

by | May 7, 2012
Pan Roasted Artichokes With Pistachios And Black Quinoa Recipe

Pan Roasted Artichokes With Pistachios And Black Quinoa

Small artichokes really don’t get the love they deserve. While the large ones are delicious and great for entertaining, the smaller kind are easier to work with and much more versatile. They are tender and delicious, and usually even less expensive.

This recipe for pan roasted baby artichokes was born out of necessity. After a solid week of forgetting to buy the herbs I needed to make my usual recipe, my bag of artichokes were the last remaining vegetable in my refrigerator and I knew if I didn’t cook them they would soon go bad. So I started digging around my pantry.

Since I didn’t have parsley, I needed something else to season the artichokes. The only other fresh flavor I had was lemon, so I decided to use the zest as a primary ingredient. I also used pistachio nuts that I had left over from my Chard, Pistachios and Mint recipe, and some black quinoa (here’s my favorite brand) to make the dish more substantial.

I was completely unprepared for how delicious this turned out. I caramelized the lemon zest with some shallot, which gave the artichokes a sweet tanginess that perfectly balanced their creamy flavor. The quinoa added a beautiful contrasting color and an intriguing crunchy texture, while the nuttiness of the pistachios gave the dish a rich earthiness.

As soon as I tasted it I knew I needed to share this recipe. The second time around it turned out just as good.

Pan Roasted Baby Artichokes With Pistachios, Lemon and Black Quinoa


  • 1 lb small artichokes
  • 1 half medium shallot
  • 1/4 c. shelled pistachio nuts
  • Juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 c. black quinoa cooked
  • 1/4 c. + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

If you haven’t cooked your quinoa, start that first. Remember that it expands to four times its original volume when cooked, so you don’t need to make a lot.

Whisk 1/4 c. olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Clean your artichokes by cutting off the top third and the bottom, then removing all the tough leaves. You do not want the artichokes to be stringy, so it is better to remove extra leaves than too few.

Cut your clean artichoke in half then submerge it instantly in the olive oil and lemon juice mixture. Artichokes quickly oxidize and turn black when exposed to air. The acid from the lemon juice will prevent this from happening. As you’re cleaning the artichokes and adding them to the bowl, stir the mixture regularly to be sure none are exposed to air for too long.

Thinly slice your shallot. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep pan on medium high heat. When the oil swirls easily in the pan add the shallots and pistachio nuts. When the shallots begin to brown, add the zest and stir. Cook the mixture for another minute or two until the shallots have almost completely caramelized.

Add the artichokes and liquid to the pan and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the artichokes so their faces are touching the surface of the pan and allow them to brown and the liquid to reduce. Stir the artichokes every few minutes until the liquid is almost completely reduced and all surfaces of the artichokes start to brown. If the pan dries before the artichokes have finished cooking, add 1/8 c. of water to prevent the shallots and nuts from burning.

The artichokes are done cooking when then are tender all the way through. At the last minute, toss in the quinoa and mix well. Make sure to scrape the caramelized bits of shallot and zest into the quinoa. Adjust salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Makes one main course or 2-3 side dishes. This would pair beautifully with roasted rosemary chicken.

Originally published April 19, 2010.

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22 Responses to “Pan Roasted Baby Artichokes With Pistachios, Lemon And Black Quinoa Recipe”

  1. I’ve never made artichokes like this before, usually only steaming them or baking them. Now I am very intrigued to try this recipe.

  2. Hester says:

    Oh my gosh, Darya! This looks fantastic! I’ll need to look for baby artichokes this weekend at the farmers market! I’ve never cooked quinoa before… what’s it taste like? Any kind of comparison? The way you cook it sounds like couscous, although I’ve never personally made that myself, either.

  3. Gosia says:

    Simply mouth-watering. Just the perfect combination of ingredients that speaks to me directly from that beautiful image you took. I’m definitely on a prowl for baby artichokes as of this moment. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Matt Shook says:

    I love artichokes, and this recipe sounds (and looks) absolutely delicious! Gotta give it a whirl soon…

  5. Joan Nova says:

    A winner! I’ve never seen black quinoa and wonder if there is any difference other than the color. Of course, pistachios and lemon take everything to the next level. Really like this one.

  6. Dr. Josh Axe says:

    Great recipe! Artichokes have such amazing health benefits as well! They are a great source of calcium, iron, potassium and more. I love foods that are great tasting and really healthy!

  7. Rainier Wolfcastle says:

    Looks good! I’m going to make it this weekend.

    BTW, shallot is missing from the ingredients list.

  8. Rainier Wolfcastle says:

    I made this last night. The combination of flavors and textures was wonderful, but by the time the artichokes were done the shallots, pistachios, and zest had gone way past caramelized and all the way to burnt and bitter.

    Next time I make this, I’m going to set the sautéed goodies aside, cook the artichokes with their oil/liquid, then add the sautéed stuff back when I add the cooked quinoa.

  9. Heather says:

    This recipe sounds delicious! Would have to omit the pistachios as my husband doesn’t like nuts. Have never cooked with baby artichokes before – only the larger ones. Do you just eat the entire thing.

    • Darya Pino says:

      You can eat the entire thing once they are cleaned as described in the recipe 🙂

      • Heather says:

        Hi Darya!

        I did actually make this dish a while back and have made it a couple of more times too since then – just haven’t checked back. The first time I realized I didn’t pull enough leaves off of the baby artichokes, so it took a little while longer to cook though – now I know better! I also used regular Quinoa as I couldn’t find black, and left out the nuts as my husband isn’t fond of them. I’ve since added sauteed cremini and shitake mushrooms and shallots to the mix as it bulks it up just a bit more. All in all is a really easy dish and I’m glad I tried it! Thanks and keep ’em coming!


  10. Liz says:

    Hi Darya, I made this tonight for dinner – simply awesome!! I was never a huge fan of artichokes (or so I thought), but I picked up some baby artichokes at my local market this morning as I wanted to try this out, and I’m really happy I did! I didn’t have pistachios, but I discovered that cashews work quite well also. This is definitely one I’ll be making again. Thank you so much! 🙂 Liz

  11. I think this is my all time favorite recipe from you. Bookmarked and eating soon.

  12. Jenny says:

    Sounds wonderful. Too bad there is no thing as “baby” artichokes in Wisconsin:)

  13. Shelley says:

    First let me say that I love this recipe. But, I must confess, I’ve yet to make it with fresh baby artichokes! This will sound like sacrilege, but I make it with canned artichoke hearts 🙂 I always have them in the pantry for my artichoke dip, and I rarely find baby artichokes in our store, so… But, it is always fantastic. (So, for Jenny from Wisconsin, this is your alternative.) The pistachios and the lemon zest are what make it really come alive. And, yes, the black quinoa tastes quite different from the white. Nuttier. Crunchier. Love the total combination of flavors. Tonight I am doing as Darya mentioned, serving it with roasted rosemary chicken. Yummm.

  14. Kelly says:

    Holy smokes! This looks amazing. I absolutely cannot wait to try it!

  15. This sounds so good! Thank you for posting recipes of veggies I can find at the farmer’s market. It’s so great!

  16. Darya – I just found a link to your post on Jenn Oliver’s roundup and had to drop by. This sounds amazing! Looking forward to giving it a try!

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