After countless weeks – since their season started – I finally, FINALLY found them!! I better not get into detail, as to what I did and tried to find these delicious vegetables:) Now you might wonder why it has been so hard, considering that they are sold pretty much everywhere. They actually are. But I was looking for a specific kind: the delicacies from Sicily, and possibly fresh, including the stem. And as many as I eat, which is huge quantities, I cannot just go to whatever store and pay a lot of money on each single one. Nope. When we buy them, we buy them in boxes of 25 to 30 pieces at a time. And they probably last 1 week only. That is why we buy them straight from a truck driver, who brings fruits and vegetables from Sicily. And for a serious artichoke addict like me, this is truly one of my biggest culinary highlights in the winter time! If not the biggest.
I couldn’t wait to share artichoke recipes with you! There are countless ways of preparing them. Be it with pasta, as an omelette, stuffed, or simply simmered in a pot. And I will surely keep sharing more of these recipes with you later on. But the one I want to begin with, is the most traditional and simple one that is eaten in Sicily.
My family usually goes to the countryside to roast them in the brazier. Here in Germany it would be too cold to go to our garden. So we make use of the only alternative we have. And that is the pan. But whether you prepare them at home or outside, you will love them! It’s incredible how salt and olive oil only can add so much taste to it! Yum!
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For this recipe I did not put any exact quantities on purpose. All you need to do is pick the quantity of artichokes that you prefer.
If there are any old leaves, remove them. Cut the dark part of the stem’s end. If they are already clean after removing the outer leaves, there is no need to wash them.
Grab one artichoke with the stem side up, and hit the top part of the leaves hard on a cutting board. This will help widen the leaves, which will make it much easier for you later on.
Cut them in half. Gently widen the leaves a little more with your fingers, in order to create enough space to sprinkle salt and olive oil between the leaves.
Heat a large pan or an electric grill at low to medium heat and lay the halves on it. Roast for about 45 min or less, until golden brown and tender.
If you have a bbq grill available – or for the lucky ones of you maybe even a fireplace – that would be the perfect way to roast them! In this case you don’t have to halve them. All you need to do is hit the artichokes a little harder on the cutting board, in order to reach inside to sprinkle the olive oil and salt. Lay them with the stem side down into the not too hot brazier and roast slowly, until the outer leaves get burned.
Prep Time: approx. 15 min (for 4 artichokes) + 45 min cooking time
Source: My family’s tradition :)