We are now well into autumn and the green artichokes have been in season for a few weeks now in Victoria (see photo above) and soon we will also have the purple tinged ones – all Victorian produce.
Good news for carciofi lovers. They can be eaten in so many ways. Here are some of the ways that I have enjoyed eating artichokes:
• raw, as a salad, the centre of young, tender artichokes, sliced very thinly and dressed,
• thin slices of raw artichokes dipped in batter (or in egg and then breadcrumbs) and then fried,
• small ones preserved in oil,
• boiled and dressed in a salad,
• cooked and almost disintegrated in a pasta sauce,
• grilled over hot coals,
• as the principal ingredient of a caponata,
• in a frittata,
• an ingredient in a tart or pie,
• boiled and once cooked, leaf by leaf is dipped into a dressing (one’s teeth extracting the soft part found at the bottom of each leaf)
• stuffed in a variety of ways, then baked or braised.
There are many ways to eat artichokes, but when friends come they always ask me for stuffed artichokes. During artichoke season I seem to be stuffing artichokes very often . See recipe:
CARCIOFI IMBOTTITI (Stuffed artichokes)
Photo below: Photographer Graeme Gillies, food stylist Fiona Rigg. Both worked on my book, Sicilian Seafood Cooking.
My brother who lives in Adelaide uses egg and no cheese in his bread and herb stuffing so when I visit him I am pleased that they are a little bit different. Last time I ate artichokes at his house he added peas (which I often do) and we had the peas, stalks and juice as a pasta dressing and the stuffed artichoke as a second course.
I have written recipes about artichokes on this blog before. See:
CARCIOFI (Artichokes and how to clean them)
CANNULICCHI A LA FAVURITA – CANNOLICCHI ALLA FAVORITA (pasta with broad beans, peas and artichokes alla favorita)
Cardoons will also be in season in winter.
CARDOONS (Cardoni or Cardi in Italian)