Have you ever been intimidated by a vegetable?
These big spiky things have scared me for a long time. And what is the best way to face your fears? Plunge in and do something about it. I still have a few other fears to face, but that was a good start.
Every time I make a recipe with artichokes, I am tempted to use canned. But not this time. I finally went to the market and bought big, fresh, globe artichokes and followed the directions on how to clean them. I actually was surprised on how easy it is. I used fresh ones for last week’s post, the spring vegetable stew, and this time around was a bit easier. There was no need to be scared at all.
For this dish, you only want to keep the artichoke heart, the most tender part, and discard the leaves. I know what appetizer to serve next time I have guests over. This was absolutely delectable, and I will make this again next week-end, for sure.
Carciofi alla Romana
6 large artichokes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
1/2 fresh red hot pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
salt to taste
1. Prepare the artichokes as described in this video and keep them in acidulated water until ready to cook them.
2. Chop the garlic, parsley, mint and pepper together as finely as possible.
3. Take about 1 teaspoon of the herb mixture and put it inside the artichoke cavity. Place the artichokes cavity side down, stem up, in a pan just large enough to fit them all in one layer and season with salt on both sides.
4. Add water and olive oil, then add the rest of the herb mixture on top. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes, or until cooked through. To test for doneness, take a sharp paring knife and insert it in the stem. It should feel like butter.
5. Remove the artichokes from the pan and serve with the stem up. You can reduce the remaining liquid a bit if it is too thin and spoon some of the sauce over each artichoke.