This is one of the side dishes that I have selected for our upcoming gourmet group gathering this weekend - Artichokes Roman Style aka Artichokes alla Romana. After gathering about a half a dozen recipes, I picked the parts of each recipe that appealed to me and came up with this compiled version.
My family loves artichokes and I started serving them to my two daughters when they were young. They used to call them Dip-Intos since we would dip the leaves in melted butter before removing the tender artichoke pulp with our teeth. Getting to the heart was always the bonus of the hard work and piles of artichoke leaves at the table.
This recipe eliminates all of the usual mess of eating artichokes and is so good I may never cook them any other way.
The artichokes are trimmed down to the tender, yellow leaves, the choke removed and they are rubbed with a combination of garlic, herbs and olive oil...
I let time slip away from me and cooked them just a little too long because when I cut them in half some of the leaves separated from the heart. My husband and I didn't care that they were slightly overcooked because they were absolutely delicious. Cooked this way the entire artichoke is edible. If you enjoy artichokes this is a wonderful recipe that can be made ahead which is always a bonus when you have guests for dinner.
Here is a wonderful tutorial showing how to clean artichokes for this recipe:
Artichokes ~ Roman Style
6 long-stemmed artichokes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons mint, leaves only, roughly chopped, 1 tablespoon reserved
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
Coarse sea salt
Watercress for garnish
With a potato peeler or knife, peel dark, bitter outer skin off stems and remove bottom 1” of stem. Remove coarse outer leaves down to softer, more yellow leaves. Remove choke and slice 1” off top of artichoke. Hold in acidulated water or squeeze fresh lemon juice all over the artichokes.
In a small bowl, combine the parsley, mint, garlic, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. In the cavity of the artichoke from which the choke was removed, place 1 teaspoon of the herb mixture and rub a little over the top. Repeat this procedure with the remaining chokes.
Arrange all chokes end side up in a deep pan that keeps them close together so they don’t fall over. Scatter the lemon slices around them, pushing them down around the artichokes. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes over the top. Add the oil, wine, and water and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer over medium low heat on the stovetop for about 30-40 minutes or until just tender. Refrigerate until ready to use and then bring to room temperature.
Remove lemon slices and continue to cook juices until reduced by half. Serve as a sauce, drizzled over artichokes.
When ready to serve, bring artichokes to room temperature. Slice in half and garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt, a drizzle of the cooking sauce, a watercress sprig, and a little reserved chopped mint.