Saturday, November 5, 2011


I made artichokes this way last week and was so impressed I decided to make it again with the last on my plants. I got the idea from a simple little book, "Food from an Italian Garden" by Judith Barrett. There are no photos of the dishes at all just charming black and white sketches of the vegetables.
Artichokes Roman Style: Firstly prepare the artichokes by snapping off all the tough outer leaves (how many depends on how developed each one is) and cut off the top third of all leaves with a serrated knife. Have a bowl of water with the juice of a lemon in it to dunk them in as you go - this helps prevent discolouration. Trip the stem back to the height of your pot and pare away the outer 'skin'. Drop the whole thing into your lemon water and move along until they are all done.
Prepare a mix of garlic, parsley, a little salt and a good glub of olive oil, muched up well with a food processor if you have one. I make extra of this to keep in the fridge as it is so handy to shove on anything, like the salmon fillets I am baking for our dinner tonight.
Press the artichokes down firmly on your benchtop to splay out the leaves slightly and rub some of this garlicy mix down between some of the leaves.
Pack them into a pot snuggly so they stand upright. I nestled an upturned little bowl in the centre but they still fall over a bit - this isn't a biggy really. Tip in a cup of olive oil and top up with water until the level is at the heart/stem junction. Bring to the boil and simmer, with the lid slightly askew until they are done. I like them well done and the smallest ones were ready in 25min.
Remove these little beauties and allow to drain and come to room temperature before you devour these with a glass or two of your favourite wine. In my case Pinot Grigio!
With regards to the 'hairy choke', I pick it out if its large BUT as these are so young, fresh and tender I won't worry about removing it.
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