Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Food shopping in Rome is an adventure. The fruit, the produce, the cheese, the flowers all beckon......buy me, buy me. It is hard to have restraint.
Spring is artichoke season, and the artichokes in Rome are something special.

At the open air markets in Rome the vendors clean the artichokes as you wait. This is routine and a great service. I purchased these gorgeous long stem artichokes at the outdoor market in the San Calisto piazza .
I also purchase fresh mint, lemon , parsley and garlic.
My mission was to make Roman style artichokes, which I had sampled in a few restaurants here in Rome.

An amazing display of the spring season's signature item....the artichoke!

From our home kitchen I have adapted the recipe for Roman style artichokes to fit the type of artichoke we have available in our local American markets. This can never taste as good as an artichoke purchased, prepared and eaten in Rome, but then who would expect it to! This variation is really quite good and fairly easy to prepare.

ARTICHOKES in the style of Rome

4 fresh artichokes
1 lemon sliced plus juice of 1 lemon for water bath
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint ( additional mint for garnish)
2 cloves of garlic sliced thin or chopped
2 tablespoon chopped parsley chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

In Rome, artichokes are prepared and served whole. For this recipe the artichokes
are cut in half which makes cleaning out the 'choke' much easier.

Have a bowl of iced water ready, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the water.
Snap off the tough outer leaves from the artichoke. Trim stem, leaving as much as possible.
Cut artichoke in half ( long ways/ top to bottom). Cut off the top inch , more or less, of each artichoke.
With some care, remove the choke from the core of the artichoke .
Place prepared artichokes in the ice water bath until needed.

Remove artichokes from water bath. Pat dry the cut sides and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle a bit of mint on each ( using about 1 tablespoon of the chopped mint).
Find a pot that will hold them quite snug . Place them stem end up , face -to-face, looking as if they were whole artichokes.
Distribute the sliced garlic around the artichokes . Scatter the remaining chopped mint. parsley and lemon slices around the artichokes.
Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil .
Add the water and wine. If you do not use wine add an additional 1/4 cup water (or chicken stock).
Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer until bottoms are fork tender,
about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from burner and let rest, still covered, for 5-10 minutes.
Remove artichokes from pot.

Serve with a generous drizzle of olive oil , a sprinkle of mint, a bit of salt and pepper and a quick squeeze of lemon is nice.

These can be served warm or at room temperature. They can be served as a first course or as a side to an entree.


I am Interested to know if you try this recipe or have other artichoke recipes .


We are adding a second blog. The new blog will be art centric.
James will be at the helm.
Stay tuned.


Tricia Gibbs said...

Elizabeth...we made your artichoke recipe tonight. I'm sure fresh market artichokes taste incredible...what a treat! I just wanted to let you know that the recipe is fantastico! Everyone loved them! Thank you for sharing. :>)


Grazie! Happy you and your family enjoyed the artichokes Roman style!