When I was recently thinning the artichokes that grow along one of our terraces, my friend, Anna Maria, poked her head over the fence and asked if I would be cooking them tonight. Cooking the stalks? I grabbed a few and climbed up to her so she could fill me in the cooking details. Here they are ….
After trimming the stalks from artichoke plants (you can also buy cardoons at vegetable markets – a relative of the artichoke), cut away any outer, tough stalks. Trim the leaves and roots from the inner, more tender stalks, and peel away any thick “ribs” with a knife. Rinse well with fresh water.
Cut the cleaned stalks into 2-3 inch pieces and soak in lemon water for several minutes.
Meanwhile, bring to a boil a large pot of water. Add the artichoke stalks, a few pinches of salt and a bit more lemon juice. Boil until the stalks are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain.
Arrange the cooked stalks in a oven dish. Drizzle liberally with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (and a bit of hot pepper, if you like). Top with grated parmigiano and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned.
Easy and delicious!
Pamela Haack is an author, specialized travel consultant and founder of Off the Beaten Strada where she creates and hosts custom retreats in central Italy, for travelers who wish to be immersed in the history, culture and traditions of the region.
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