Sautéed Baby Artichokes and Ricotta Polenta

With all of the travel that I’ve been doing for work lately, I’ve been finding it little difficult to keep up with my normal cooking routine.  While I’m gone, poor Graham has been left to fend for himself in the kitchen and when I return, I’m too tired to do much more than heat a few things up.   While we both miss my more elaborate meals, I think secretly Graham is pleased to have a break once in a while from washing all of the piles of dishes I usually generate in the kitchen…!

Last weekend I did manage to make it to the farmers market and even though I was leaving again for a trip the next day, I couldn’t resist buying a ton of produce.   The baby artichokes at one of the stands were practically calling out to me to take them home.   Since they were some of the cutest little things I had ever seen, I couldn’t pass them by — never mind that I had no idea what I would do with them.

By the time I’d walked home from the market, I had devised a plan to sauté the artichokes with a little butter, garlic and lemon—really what vegetable doesn’t taste good with these three ingredients?   When served over some simple (but tasty) ricotta polenta, these little artichokes may have come close to making up for my many missed and less than stellar meals lately.   I’m hoping I’ll have more time in the kitchen again soon, so I’ll redeem myself a little more and Graham can resume his normal dish duty.

Sautéed Baby Artichokes and Ricotta Polenta

Since it was my first time cooking with baby artichokes, I was experimenting and did not measure my ingredients very precisely.   You may have to tweak things in this recipe to your taste.

  • 20-30 baby artichokes
  • Juice from one small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter (more if needed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Trim away the tough outer leaves from each of the baby artichokes, until you reach the tender interior leaves.  Remove any tough outer bits from the stems and slice off the tips of the leaves on top if they are tough.  Quarter each artichoke and dunk them immediately after cutting into a bowl of the lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and add garlic.  Cook garlic for 1 minute and then add the cut up artichokes and any remaining lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until the artichoke start to brown.  Serve over ricotta polenta (see recipe below).

Ricotta Polenta

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta or coarse corn meal
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the water in a medium sized pot.  When the water is boiling, whisk in the corn meal.  Turn down the heat and allow the corn mixture to simmer until it is thick and creamy, stirring the mixture frequently.  When the corn mixture has thickened and no longer has any crunch to it, remove it from the heat and stir in the ricotta.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

I’ve talked about my love of artichokes before and this dish may have made that love grow a little stronger.

Easy Rating


Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)

Preparing the artichokes to be sautéed takes some time and patience.  Using frozen artichokes would make this dish much easier, but it may not have that same great fresh flavor.

Healthy Rating


Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)

Some butter and cheese in this dish, but overall not too bad on the healthy scale.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

The artichokes were organic and local and almost all of the rest of the ingredients were organic.
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13 comments to Sautéed Baby Artichokes and Ricotta Polenta

  • Similar to my last dish, we must be on the same blog wavelength ;)

  • This looks amazing, i love picking up amazing looking produce at the farmers market and yes i often have no idea what to do with it, I always ask the grower!
    if i see artichokes i know what i will be trying ;)

  • I have yet to buy artichokes this season, but this recipe is reminding me of how badly I need to do so. Yum!

  • What a fabulous dish! Love the photos!

  • the baby artichokes are too cute! I love artichokes and have never cooked with fresh ones, I think it’s time to change that!

  • Ricotta polenta is totally new to me but it’s such a great idea! I will add pecorino cheese to this, but just because I’m not a fan of ricotta sweetness… ^_^
    I love this recipe…

  • These artichokes are so cute. And this ricotta bed looks like the perfect company to them!

  • Oh! Ricotta in polenta, that sounds yummie…like the idea of topping it with artichokes, and the baby ones are so cute. Hope you are having a wonderful week Sally :-)

  • looks soo creamy with all that ricota in polenta and artichoke on top … simply amazing :)

  • What a uniquely lovely dish. I’m always on the look-out for the new and different. I know I’ll love this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Wow…this looks so yummy. I could eat plain steamed artichokes daily, so this is right up my alley, and all dressed up. I’ve recently really started loving ricotta. Sounds great!

    (You asked for my tortilla recipe from my tostadas, and I’m late with this reply, but here it is: 1 cup Maseca, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (or more) water. Mix and press out. Makes 8 (or 16 small).

  • Yum! Fresh baby artichokes!! I can certainly understand your desire to buy them once you spied them at the markets, this recipe looks so very tasty, I’ve never thought to add ricotta to polenta, genius!

  • this looks like comfort in a bowl.

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