Serves 6 / Ingredient tips: Cici (garbanzo) beans add lean protein and texture to this hearty dish. Baby artichokes can be eaten whole after cooking because they don’t have the fuzzy heart typical of larger artichokes. If you can’t find them, use prepared artichoke hearts (canned in water and well drained); roast until lightly browned for flavor, halve, then stir into cici-bean mixture as directed.
6 baby artichokes (or one 15-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium Roma tomatoes, diced and drained
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil and drained)
1/2 tablespoon agave nectar or other sweetener
1 15-ounce can cici (garbanzo) beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons lightly chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. Wash artichokes and remove tough outer leaves. With a knife, trim stem and cut off the top ½ inch of each artichoke. As you go, place artichokes in a large bowl of water with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Let trimmed chokes soak in lemon water for 20 minutes (this helps preserve their color when cooking).
2. Preheat oven to 350˚. Remove chokes from lemon water (turn upside down to drain thoroughly) and place in a lightly oiled, shallow ceramic or glass baking dish (not metal); sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender, 30 minutes for small chokes and 45–60 minutes for medium and larger ones. Remove from oven and cool.
3. Heat oil in a large, nonstick or heavy skillet on medium heat. Add onion and sauté until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, fennel seed, sun-dried tomatoes, and agave. Stir. After 1 minute, reduce heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes. Add beans, basil, and olive oil, combining well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cut cooled artichokes in half and place in a large bowl; add bean-tomato mixture and toss lightly. Serve.
PER SERVING: 156 cal, 33% fat cal, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg chol, 6g protein, 22g carb, 7g fiber, 114mg sodium