Roasted Artichokes w/ Lemon Tarragon Butter


I just want to say thanks for all of the get well wishes I’ve been getting through comments and email from you guys.  It means a lot and I appreciate it so much! 
I’m feeling so much better these past few days although I did have to give up coffee and all caffeine for now.  That’s been easier than I thought it would be so far, but I miss my coffee…a LOT!  It’s not just the buzz, it’s the taste and the whole morning ritual of it.  Decaf just doesn’t do the trick for me – it’s like….um….  Well I just sat here for five minutes and couldn’t think of a funny simile – I mean seriously, I’ve got nothing here, which isn’t like me.  I blame the lack of caffeine in my system.  Hopefully I can still get my snark on without it…
Meanwhile, let’s talk about artichokes!  A lot of people are intimidated by them because of how they look.  I’ll grant you, it’s not easy to get to the good stuff, but it’s so worth it when you do!  I used to eat them all the time and I’d just pop a couple in the microwave and zap the heck out of them until they got nice and soft.  But there is something about roasting them that makes them even sweeter and more delicious.  This is a very easy way to prep them, which is great for a dinner party because you slide them in the oven to roast while you make the rest of the meal, and then just drizzle a simple lemon tarragon butter over them to serve.


Makes 8 halves
4 artichokes
olive oil
salt and pepper
4 Tbl butter
2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl fresh tarragon, chopped

Wash your artichokes and cut in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, carve out the hairy “choke” in the center along with the tiny, pointy leaves.  When you are done they should look like the picture on the left.  They will oxidize quickly, so you can drop them in lemon water if it’s your first time and you’re a little slow at it.  Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on size of artichoke, large ones could be longer) at 375 degrees (F) or until the heart is fork tender.

Meanwhile, gently melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the lemon juice and cook for one minute.  Remove from the heat and add the chopped tarragon.  To serve, ladle a few teaspoons of the lemon butter over each artichoke.  Use the center “cup” of the artichoke for dipping.


The tarragon enhances the slight anise flavor in the artichokes and makes them taste somehow sweet which is then balanced out by the tartness of the lemon.  I don’t know how exactly to explain the flavor, but it’s delicious!  To eat these simply peel the leaves out starting from the center and scrape the tender part off with your teeth.  Serve with a small dish to put the discarded leaves into.  Once you get all the leaves off you are left with the heart which is the absolute best part – dip that sucker into the butter and go to town!





  1. Matt Sevigny
    Matt Sevigny04-28-2012

    Caffeine isn’t what makes you funny Mellis. Artichokes always remind me of you and Tanya would get some while Lee and I ate pizza!

  2. Patty

    Whatever! You’re even funny when you are talking about how you’re not funny. :-) I want to love artichokes, but the fresh kind are not so fresh here in Georgia most of the time, and they are rather expensive, especially for the amount of food you get. But if I find some good looking ones I’ll have to try this. SO glad you are feeling better!!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)04-30-2012

      Thank’s Patty! :) It’s true that they can be expensive for what you get – it’s a nice splurge every once in awhile though! I got a bag of four large ones on my last Costco run for $5 I think which wasn’t too bad. I’m trying to grow my own but my plants are still looking pretty anemic – have to do some research on what kind of nutrients they need to produce…

  3. Mike @TheIronYou
    Mike @TheIronYou04-28-2012

    I Love artichokes, yet I never eat them…how silly of me! Gonna have to try your recipe pretty soon!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)04-30-2012

      Hope you like these Mike – the lemon tarragon butter is delicious on them whether you roast, steam or microwave them!

  4. Mommacancook

    just found your blog thanks to Cravings of a Lunatic. I love Artichokes but recently discovered Baby Artichokes much simpler to use (no choke) once the ends are trimmed you cook and eat the entire thing. OH my how delish!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-02-2012

      I love baby artichokes too and I buy them whenever I can find them, which sadly down here in SC isn’t very often! Isn’t Kim Bee great? Love her!

  5. Doris

    I love artichokes, but I’ve never actually bought a fresh artichoke and tried to do anything with it. It always looked so scary to me. I may have to try this. Thanks, Melissa. Hope you can smile again . . . without caffeine.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-02-2012

      Thanks Doris, I’m over the hump on the caffeine thing and don’t even miss it! Though when Matt brews a pot for himself in the morning it sure smells good! The kids might get a kick out of the artichokes too – especially if you can find the “baby” ones which are more tender and easier to eat.

  6. Anna

    These look wonderful! I’m going to try them this week. Happy to hear you’re feeling better. Speaking of caffeine- I remember when I decided to cut Dr. Pepper completely out of my life. It was a harder break up than that boy my sophmore year…and it would all come crashing down when good intending friends would buy it “just for me” when I’d go to their homes. I’d spend the afternoon in the corner, sobbing into my ice water. Good luck!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-02-2012

      Too funny! I used to be a Diet Coke addict but I weaned off of it years ago but for the occasional slip up! It’s a tough habit to break – stay strong my friend, stay strong! ;)

    • Anna

      Artichokes were on sale 2 for $3 this week. Yay! I’ll report back with the results.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-07-2012

      Hope you liked them!

  7. The Pilot's Daughter
    The Pilot's Daughter05-01-2012

    For sure making these this week! They look amazing!

  8. Paul Halliday
    Paul Halliday05-24-2012

    Mmmmm, indeed! Plain and simple – these need nothing more than cooking, lemon and some olive oil. You’ve done these proud!

  9. Unknown

    Hmmmm…I followed this cooking time and was left with raw artichokes. Most of it was too hard to eat, the leaves were not scrapable. But the sauce was delicious.

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)05-31-2012

      Sorry about that – 45 minutes is usually plenty of time for me. Maybe yours were much larger than mine or denser? Not sure how that works. If you want to try again, you could microwave them for 5 or 6 minutes first to start them softening and then finish them in the oven. ?? Glad you liked the sauce though! :)

  10. Christina

    Hi! Mine are still baking (55 minutes so far!) and raw but getting dark at the same time. I was a little surprised to see in your directions that you scoop the choke out with a spoon. Mine required a sharp knife to cut the choke out. Wonder if parboiling/steaming for 20 mins first would help? And would then cut the baking time down? I will try that next time!

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)06-08-2012

      Hey Christina! My artichokes must have been small because you are the second person who has said the cooking time wasn’t long enough! Sorry about that! If you pre-cook for half the time and then finish in the oven, that could work too. I have always scraped my choke out with a spoon, you have to really scrape hard to get it all but it works for me and there’s less chance of stabbing myself! ha ha!

  11. Sarah

    i decided to make these tonight and as the artichokes were cooking i realized i didnt have butter or tarragon :( so i just used olive oil and lemon juice with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese and it was still delicious.

    i used 3 small artichokes and they cooked for about 30 minutes

    • Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)
      Mellissa Sevigny (sevimel)06-11-2012

      Thanks Sarah, I’m so happy to hear that somebody made them and they cooked! It’s amazing the variation in cooking times different people are having with them. Just a weird thing I guess – I thought maybe I wrote my time down wrong when everybody was saying they were raw – but mine were relatively small too so I think that must have been why. Glad they tasted ok with the olive oil and lemon juice on them, thanks for reporting back!

  12. Melina

    I tried this at home tonight and had the same problem with the cooking time. Mine were 1 1/2 hour in the oven and got pretty dark on the outside till they finally were done. They were delicious, though.
    I think that adding a little bit of water to the saucepan and covering it with aluminum foil would help to get them cooked faster, then once the artichokes are tender, you can remove the aluminium for the last 10 minutes so they get golden brown. I will try this the next time.

    I still believe this is a very good idea, generally my mom and my grandma prepared them with garlic, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and olive oil. All this mixture goes in between the leaves, without cutting or removing anything from the artichoke, then they boiled the artichokes until tender.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny09-01-2012

      Thanks for sharing your tips Melina! I used to love them stuffed with the breadcrumb mixture too – but we always baked them, how did the boil them without all of the stuffing coming out?? I’m intrigued!

  13. Melina

    You have to put the artichokes faceing up, the cheese melts and brings everything together so the stuffing rarely leaks out.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny10-26-2012

      Thanks for clarifying Melina, but do you bake them that way or boil them?

      • Melina

        I boil them in a pan and put the lid on. In more or less half an hour, they’re done. I guess you can also bake them, but again, i would cover them with something so they cook faster and they don’t dry.

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