As the globe artichoke season is nearing its end over here (peas and beans are already for sale) I thought I’d share a couple of southern Italian recipes.
I’ve always loved artichokes but always found the boil them whole then dip in sauce trick a bit limiting. Italians favour smaller varieties, which are so much easier to use – just peel the hard outer leaves off then cut them just above the circumference and quarter.
Fried artichokes Use very small tight artichokes for this. Prepare as mentioned above – making sure they’re are no hard leaves. If in doubt take off more than you think. Boil in lemoned water for a few mins then drain.
Make a thick batter with some flour, eggs and white wine. Coat each wedge and then put them all in boiling oil until crispy on both sides. Drain and serve with lemon and parsley.
Stuffed artichokes Use slightly bigger and more open ones for this. For the filling soak some bread in either water or milk. Squeeze all liquid out and mix it with a couple of beaten eggs, some grated strong cheese, garlic, capers, parsley and seasoning. Take off outer artichoke leaves and cut just above the circumference. Trim the stem so they can stand upright. Pull it apart a little so that it resembles a flower and use a spoon to stuff the filling in between leaves until you can get no more in and make sure that there’s a good mound on the top.
Pack them tightly in an oven dish packed side up and fill with an inch or so of broth (water, with a glug of oil, garlic, cloves, onion celery, parsley and seasoning) and bake at 350 degrees or around 30 – 35 mins. To serve spoon a little of the juice over the cooked artichokes and mop the rest up with some bread. Lovely jubbly