Carciofi Alla Romana
It’s rather intimidating trimming artichokes for the first time, which is why I think that the video I recommend above is a must-see. Melissa puts all your anxieties to rest with a simple, how-to instruction. Keep in mind that you must work quickly and dip your artichoke in the acidulated water as you are trimming – it shows discoloration in no time. But in the end, the whole mess winds up in the pot and turns olive-green, so don’t worry too much about it upon your first time. Lastly, remember when cleaning the choke, if you stick your finger inside the artichoke to feel if any choke is left, feel for the fuzzy stuff – if you feel it, you still have some work to do. Otherwise, your artichoke has been properly cleaned. In case you don’t watch the video, Melissa recommends a grapefruit spoon to get rid of the choke and I find that it works miracles!
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/3 cup dry white or rose wine
1/2 cup boiling water
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, mint, garlic, zest salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
2. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon. Remove the outer leaves of the artichoke and trim the tip so that you could see the center. Pull out the purple leaves and scrape out the choke with a spoon. While trimming the artichoke, dip it in the acidulated water to keep the artichoke from discoloration. When done trimming place in the acidulated water.
3. In the cavity of the artichoke from which the choke was removed, place some of the herb mixture – evenly dividing it among the artichokes. Place the artichokes fitted snugly (i.e. they won’t fall over) in a deep pan. Add the wine, boiling water, remaining oil and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer on the stovetop for 1 hour. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 2 to 4.