Carciofi alla Romana
I’ve been out of town, I had the good intention of writing while I was gone and posting the recipes from my seder following the haroseth, I had uploaded all of the photos, had the recipes written out, but like my mother always says, the road to hell was paved with good intentions.
Artichokes are starting to sprout up in the grocery stores here in Charleston, they aren’t great looking, but they are tasty. One of the dishes that I made for my seder last Thursday were carciofi alla romana, not the carciofi alla giudea, which are the fried artichokes associated with the Jewish community in Rome.
I’ll try the carciofi alla giudea one day, but frying is not only an ordeal it also stinks up your kitchen, something I didn’t feel like dealing with. I also always preferred the carciofi alla romana, never tried to make them though. I guess that I wanted to keep them special to order them at the osteria when they were in season. They were so easy to make, I hope that my next attempt will be met with perfect artichokes that I won’t need to cut in half.
Carciofi alla Romana adapted from Gourmet -April 2009
- 2 lemons, halved
- 8 large artichokes, with long stems (I made this with 2 artichokes and the same ingredients, they weren’t too soft or too oily)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups water
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 tbsp chopped mint, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
I recommend wearing kitchen gloves when you clean your artichokes, they will leave you fingers and nails a greenish brown for days.
Squeeze 2 lemon halves in a large bowl of cold water.
Cut off top inch of 1 artichoke and bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base (keep stem attached). Discard several more layers of leaves in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves.
Cut off remaining leaves ½ an inch above top of artichoke base using a sharp knife, then pull out purple leaves and scoop out fuzzy choke with a melon baller. Trim dark green fibrous parts from base and side of artichoke. One of my artichokes was a little funky, so I had to cut them in half to remove the funkiness, giving them the wrong shape for a real carciofo alla romana, they were delicious none the less.
Trim a thin slice from stem end, then trim the side of the stem down to the pale green inner core. Rub cut surfaces with lemon halves, then put the artichokes in lemon water.
Trim remaining artichokes in the same manner.
Combine lemon juice, water (3 cups), oil, 3 tbsp mint, garlic, and 1 tsp salt in a 4- to 5-qt heavy pot (wide enough to hold artichokes in 1 layer with stems pointing upward) and bring to a simmer.
Stand artichokes, stem ends up, in liquid and cover with a round of parchment paper. Simmer, covered with parchment and lid, until just tender when artichoke bottom is pierced with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes. (I skipped the parchment paper.)
Transfer artichokes with a slotted spoon to a shallow serving dish. Boil cooking liquid until reduced to about ½ a cup, about 20 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of boiling, whisk liquid until it emulsifies. Pour over artichokes and sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp mint.
Cooks note: Artichokes can be braised 1 day ahead and chilled in reduced cooking liquid. Serve at room temperature or reheat over low heat until warm.