Artichokes recipe from Rome: mint, breadcrumbs and a hint of liquor.
In my vegetarian youth, veggies were a main dish, not a side dish, and it was not uncommon for me to get very excited for the eggplants parmigiana or the artichokes nights.
For example, my mom’s delicious Roman style artichokes night. That day we were served with a crispy leaves and juicy condiment artichoke, fresh bread and a salad. We could use our hands to pick a leave at the time, bite it and suck all the flavor out of it. After we had eaten the whole artichoke, including the tender and incredibly aromatic heart, we could collect the remaining juices with bread: scarpetta :-).
It was a ritual. And it was a great (and a little primordial) food experience.
Every time I make Roman style artichokes, and I enjoy this simple, still delicious, dish, I thank fate for coming from a vegetarian family. Thanks to them I discovered the pleasures of a vegetable dish, the flavors of fresh ingredients and the infinite possibilities behind any cabbage head or artichoke flower.
This is the authentic Roman style artichokes recipe, with a little of my own kitchen creativity 🙂 (which you can skip if you are a purist).
roman style artichokes recipe
- 2 artichokes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1,7 oz breadcrumbs 50 gr - sometimes I use friselle
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 1 sprig mint pennyroyal
- 1 sprig parsley
- 2 tablespoons bay leave liquor or any herbal liquor, Cynar would be great - optional but tasty!
Clean the artichokes:
Cut off the top of the stem (if it is very long don’t throw it away, cut it and cook it together with the artichokes, they’re delicious!).
Peel the stem.
Snap off the dark-green outer leaves (I keep most of them, cause they’re delicious to dip in the final sauce, chewing away the little pulp they have).
Cut off the peak of the artichokes (so you don’t have hurty spikes!).
Use your hands to open the artichoke heart and scoop out and discard the inner beard.
Place them in a pot with water and the lemon juice (to prevent oxidation) and leave them there while proceeding with next steps.
Grate together taralli, parsley, mint, garlic and a pinch of salt. Add olive oil and the liquor and mix.
Help yourself with a spoon to fill in the artichokes hearts with this mixture.
Place them in a pot, upside down, add enough water to cover 1/2 of the artichokes heads, 1-2 pinches of salt and the remaining mixture.
Cover and cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes (use a skewer to check if the inner part is tender).
Serve hot or cold, seasoned with the cooking sauce.
enjoy your Roman style artichokes!