Yes, it’s spring which means it’s time for Carciofi alla Romana- perfect time for artichokes Roman style. The key is freshness. That’s why in Italy - Rome especially you will only find artichokes in the market now and in the fall. So the lesson here is if they are fresh, they will be moist on the stem end.
This is a dish to share with someone special. Get rid of your knives and forks and start the evening with finger food - making it all the more full of amore!
From George Hirsch Living it UP! TV series
chefgeorgehirsch.com | Makes 4 servings
4 Large Artichokes
1 lemon, cut in half
1/4 cup mint leaves washed, dried and chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, *optional
Wash artichokes; remove outer leaves until pale yellow leaves are exposed.
Cut off top two inches and stems so artichokes will sit upright.
Remove fuzzy centers (choke) with the edge of a soup spoon and rub all surfaces with half of a lemon. Add juice of remaining lemon to water and dip artichokes to preserve green color.
Mix mint, garlic, pepper, with wine, 1/2 cup olive oil and spoon into hollows of artichokes. Place in a pan just large enough to hold them upright. Add water to depth of three inches and remaining olive. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes or until just tender. Check by either pulling off a bottom leaf with ease or inserting small knife through bottom and it slides out with ease. Cooking will vary with size of artichokes.
Remove artichokes, drain, cover and keep warm. Reduce cooking liquid until a syrupy consistency, add optional hot pepper flakes. Spoon sauce over artichokes and serve.
Artichokes may also be stuffed with vegetables, sausage and bread stuffing and baked in a 325 degree F oven for 45-60 minutes.