Turkish Braised Artichokes with Peas and Candied Lemon

A family recipe honed over generations, this rendition of zeytinyağlı enginar is springtime on a plate.

  • Serves

    4 as an appetizer

  • Cook

    1 hour


By Gamze Ineceli

Published on April 17, 2024

“Artichokes have a special place at the table of Istanbulites,” says Gamze Ineceli, an Istanbul-based researcher and expert in Anatolian food studies. Her classic Turkish braised artichokes recipe with peas and candied lemon is a family favorite that was perfected over generations. If you don’t want the artichokes to turn brown, rub them all over with a halved lemon as you trim. 

Featured in “Why You Should Heart Artichokes (If You Don’t Already)” by Benjamin Kemper.


For the candied lemon:

  • 2 medium lemons, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

For the topping:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 5 scallions, green tops discarded, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. green peas (3¼ cups), fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped dill fronds

For the artichokes:

  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 trimmed globe artichoke bottoms (1 lb. 13 oz.)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarsely chopped dill fronds, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Step 1

Make the candied lemon: Using a sharp knife or mandoline, cut one of the lemons crosswise into ⅛-inch slices and transfer to a small skillet. Add the sugar and the juice of the remaining lemon and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and the lemon slices are coated in thick syrup, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 2

Make the topping: To a medium skillet over medium heat, add the oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the scallions and cook until slightly softened, about 1 minute more. Add the peas, salt, sugar, and enough water to barely cover (about 1½ cups). Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the peas are soft, about 5 minutes. Drain, then stir in the dill, turn off the heat, cover, and set aside.

Step 3

Make the artichokes: To a medium skillet, add the sugar, salt, and onion and use your hands to toss until the onion softens slightly, about 30 seconds. Place the artichoke hearts, cavities facing down, on top of the onion mixture, then drizzle with the olive oil, rubbing to coat. Add enough water to barely cover the hearts (about ⅔ cup). Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the artichokes are soft when pierced with a knife, about 12 minutes.     

Step 4

Using a metal spatula, transfer the artichoke hearts (cavities facing up) to a platter, reserving the liquid. Mound evenly with the pea mixture, then scatter with the candied lemon and spoon with the reserved cooking liquid. Garnish with dill and serve with lemon wedges on the side. 

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