“Globe artichokes are another vegetable that Italians love; their nutty, earthy taste is always welcome at the dinner table. Artichokes are very versatile and may be boiled, braised, grilled or deep-fried. Artichokes preserved in oil make a delicious addition to an antipasto selection or to a pizza topping. This recipe is easy to make. Just make sure that you choose artichokes that are fresh and firm, and not limp, oxidised or yellow. Artichokes should be a vivid green, and may have streaks of deep purple on the leaves. One variety I particularly like has pointed leaves that can be a bit prickly at the tips. Late in the season rogue farmers may send artichokes to market with a central ‘choke’ – a horrible hairy fluff that must be discarded – which means that the fruit is mature and going to flower. The only edible part is the base – and the artichokes should be given to you free of charge!”
6 large artichokes
100 ml olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 anchovies (optional)
a splash of white wine
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stalks and leaves, chopped
1 litre Golden Chicken Stock (see page 79)
Remove the tough outer leaves from the artichokes and lob off the top third. Peel the stalks, leaving about 4 cm attached to the fruit. Don’t discard all the stalks, though – any tender parts can also be peeled and cooked.
Heat the oil in a large non-reactive saucepan and add the garlic, anchovies and artichokes and a splash of white wine. After a few moments add the parsley, and then the stock. The artichokes should be completely covered. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
Then turn them over in the liquid. Cook for another 10–15 minutes.
By the end of the cooking time, most of the liquid should have evaporated. Season to taste. When you eat these artichokes you are allowed to chew and suck on the leaves!