Last week I was heading home and taking the back road through the farm fields and farm stands and stopped in to get a bouquet of fresh flowers. The beauty of living in ag land, it’s a place where a “farmers market” is open everyday. It is such a good feeling to run in and get a few essentials rather than trying to find a parking spot and waiting in line at a grocery store. I also am a big fan of supporting local growers. I bought two artichokes on the stalk, a white hydrangea, and a small handful of lilac colored stock for the fantastic price of six dollars. I arranged them in my white fiesta pitcher and enjoyed the arrangement for a couple of days and then removed the stocks to make roman artichokes. Artichokes are one of my favorite things in the world and visiting Italy this past October was going to the mecca of carciofo, carciofo is Italian for artichoke. I learned that word the first hour I was in Italy. Of course, I had it on pizza and fried, but my favorite was at a sidewalk café across from the Vatican, a simple roman artichoke or carciofo alla romana.
Carciofo Alla Romana
- a small handful of parsley chopped
- a few leaves of mint chopped
- 1 bulb garlic chopped
- a dash of salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 artichokes halved and trimmed leaves (all dark leaves) choke removed (rub lemon to prevent browning)
- 1/2 cup white wine (dry)
- 3/4 cup hot water
In a small bowl, combine the parsley, mint, garlic, salt and one tablespoon olive oil. Remove the choke from your halved/trimmed artichoke and place herb mixture into cavity. Repeat this procedure with the remaining chokes. Arrange all chokes in a deep pan stem up (I mistakenly putted them laying down), a small pan works well. Add the wine, boiling water, remaining oil and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer on the stove top 1 hour. Serve warm as an appetizer or on top of risotto for a main course.