My partner who does the shopping came home with these artichokes from the Queen Victoria Market.
They were pretty big specimens and nearing the end of aritchoke growing season (when they turn woody and their fibrous chokes develop), but not having eaten artichokes for quite a while, I was excited about them.
They did prove to be quite fibrous – vecchi – Italians would say, but I did clean them as best I could, removing most of the outer leaves and really digging in to remove their chokes. I also cut more of the tops off than I usually do with younger artichokes. Although the stems were long, once I stripped off the outer fibre, I was only able to use very little of them.
Really, I should have taken off all the leaves and used only the base – fondi – Italians call them.
Artichokes can be cooked in many ways and you will find several recipes on my blog, but I particularly like them stuffed. The stuffing was easy – day old breadcrumbs, garlic, grated pecorino, parsley and a good amount of extra virgin olive oil.
Last of all, I added some toasted pinenuts and some grated lemon peel to the stuffing.
And then I stuffed the artichokes.
These are ready to cook. They are nearly submeged in stock, white wine, extra virgin olive oil and a little salt. I always add fresh bayleaves, but this time I also added thyme.
Cover and braise slowly.
And they did cook for much longer than I usually cook artichokes. After about 60 mins of cooking on a slow flame, I added chunks of potatoes and when the potatoes were nearly cooked (about 20 mins) , I added broadbeans and peas (Spring vegetables) and all cooked a further 10 – 15 minutes.
Like most Italians, I rarely do the cooking at the last minute. With braised dishes the flavours need to develop, and resting is a good thing. I cooked these in the afternoon, ready for the evening. This also gave me time to concentrate on accompanying food.
Where would we be without seasonal broadbeans!! My partner even double peeled them, something that I refuse to do.
In spite of all my fears, we chewed on the ends of the leaves and the bases (the fondi) just melted in our mouths…. They tasted pretty heavenly.
Some of these posts were written a long time ago!
There are more recipes for artichokes – use the search button.