In my vegetarian youth, veggies were a main dish, not a side dish, and it was not uncommon for me to get very excited for the eggplants parmigiana or the roman artichokes nights!
Deliciously cooked vegetables (my mom is the greatest cook I know – and yes, I know every Italian says the same, but my mom is from Venezuela, I’m half and half, so we’re out of the cliché!) would be placed at the center of our plate, accompanied by fresh bread and salad.
Eating artichokes rugged leaves with your hands, dipping them in the cooking sauce was pure pleasure: a primordial pleasure.
Well, what if your #meatfreeweek/monday turns out to be a deeply instinctive culinary experience? Ladies & Gentleman, please meet oh-so-delicious greens, your new best friends!
You can start with a Roman Artichokes night! —Claudia | Gourmet Project
What You'll Need
extra-virgin olive oil
friselle (ring-shaped Puglian rolls) or 50 gr of breadcrumbs (but friselle are tastier!)
bay leave liquor (or any herbal liquor, Cynar would be great!) – optional but tasty!
Clean the artichokes:
Cut off the top of the stem (if it is very long don’t throw it away, cut it and cook it together with the artichokes, they’re delicious!).
Peel the stem.
Cut off the peak of the artichokes (so you don’t have hurty spikes!).
Use your hands to open the artichoke heart and scoop out and discard the inner beard.
Snap off the dark-green outer leaves (I keep most of them, cause they’re delicious to dip in the final sauce, chewing away the little pulp they have).
Place them in a pot with water and the lemon juice (to prevent oxidation) and leave them there while proceeding with next steps.
Grate together taralli, parsley, mint, garlic and a pinch of salt. Add olive oil and the liquor and mix.
Help yourself with a spoon to fill in the artichokes hearts with this mixture.
Place them in a pot, upside down, add enough water to cover 1/2 of the artichokes heads, 1-2 pinches of salt and the remaining mixture.
Cover and cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes (use a skewer to check if the inner part is tender).
Serve hot or cold, seasoned with the cooking sauce.