Artichokes are one of my favourite vegetables. Growing up there was only one way that we would ever eat them, boiled and dipped in garlic butter, delicious but not exactly healthy.
I tried roman artichokes (or carciofi alla romana) for the first time on a trip to Italy and fell in love. The artichokes are stuffed with a delicious mint, parsley and garlic mixture and then quickly cooked until they are so tender you can eat the entire thing with a fork.
These artichokes are incredibly versatile, I love eating them warm as a side dish, or keeping a container of them in the fridge to have with antipasti or throw in salads, sandwiches or on pizza. I definitely recommend doubling this recipe because any leftovers are delicious and will quickly disappear.
Try to use the smallest artichokes you can find, but if only larger ones are available they will work just fine if you cut them in halves or quarters before stuffing.
- 8 small artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- Fill a large bowl half full of water and then squeeze in the juice from the lemon.
- To prepare the artichokes start by peeling off the tough outer leaves, remove approximately ½ of the leaves until you get to the softer more flexible leaves which will be paler in colour.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer layer of the stem and then cut off the very end. Next cut approximately half of the top of the artichoke off to remove the pointy end of the leaves. As you finish preparing each artichoke, place them in the bowl of lemon water, this will help prevent them from browning while you prepare the remaining artichokes.
- In a bowl combine the garlic, fresh parsley, mint, salt and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Stuff approximately 1 tbsp of the herb mixture in between the leaves of each of the prepared artichokes. You should be left with a few tablespoons of the herb mixture which should be set aside for later.
- Place the stuffed artichokes face down in a pot, ideally try to find a pot just large enough to fit the artichokes snuggly. Pour the remaining olive oil in the bottom of the pot along with enough water so that its about 1 inch deep but no more. Put the lid on the pot and put it on the stove on medium low heat.
- Leave the artichokes to cook for approximately 25 minutes (you may need longer depending on the size of the artichokes). Check every 10 minutes or so to ensure that there is still liquid at the bottom of the pot and the artichokes aren't sticking to the bottom. If a lot of the water has evaporated add in more. The artichokes are ready when the stem is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove the artichokes from the pot and top with the remaining herb mixture before serving.