Roman Style

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!

Garlic Artichokes

From George Hirsch Living it UP! TV series | 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. 

Thanksgiving Countdown: Memorable Veggie Sides

Question- is the turkey the hero or are the side dishes? I say- it depends on the what the sides are. First, I promise not to serve up grey string beans and soggy canned corn then expect you to ask for seconds.

There's the trick to my veggie side dish mix that makes them stand out on their own. And, I have taken the stress away. Stop trying to get everything to the table hot. Opt out! That’s right! Don’t serve a complete menu of all hot sides. It can be a little stressful, even for the most experienced chef especially when having your mother-in-law looking over your shoulder thinking out loud- that's not how I do it.

Also, don’t feel compelled to make too many items. Do a few well is better than too many average. Prepare some traditional favorite family sides, then try out a new dish to start your own tradition. 

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Bacon

Garlic Artichokes

Roasted Root Vegetables

Grilled Asparagus

Fennel & Green Bean Salad

Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

© Hdconnelly |

What's Coming Up Monday: Thanksgiving Turkey Countdown Continues with More Sides: Potatoes, Stuffings & Dressings