In Italy artichokes are now in full season. If you go around the shops you will see large trays bursting full of them: from the larger Roman ones to the cute little baby ones. I love them all.
My children enjoyed eating them: I said to them this is like a flower: you need to tear every single petal and scrape off the pulp with your teeth and it gets more and more interesting as you reach its tender heart. My son was a bit puzzled when he could not find a real heart inside! He loved it though.
Once you clean your first artichoke you will find it pretty much straightforward to clean all the other ones. Just make sure you wear gloves as they can stain your hands.
I have filled them with tuna, anchovies, capers and breadcrumbs and drizzled them with olive oil. It seemed to work really well.
You will find a proper tutorial on how to clean artichokes here.
- Prep Time : 25 minutes
- Cook Time : 60 minutes
With a knife cut off the stem and the tip of the artichokes (about 2-3 cm).
Remove some of the outer leaves as they are the tough ones and open up the inner leaves
With a melon baller or with a spoon remove the "beard" of the artichoke which is inedible.
Dip the cleaned artichoke into lemony water until it is time to cook them.
Make the filling with the chopped parsley, the drained tuna, the chopped anchovies, the breadcrumbs, capers and olive oil and mix all the ingredients up. Add enough olive oil to make a smooth mixture.
With the help of a spoon, fill the artichokes with the mixture, sprinkle some salt over them and a little more olive oil
Put the artichokes in a large pan, add enough water to cover half of the head of the artichokes. Put the lid on and cook over a low heat for about 1 hour. Prick them with a fork to check if they are cooked.