Discover with us how to cook Roman-style artichokes, a delicious recipe which exalts the flavour of one of the most peculiar winter vegetables.

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Winter has arrived in Rome when groceries and city's restaurants offer artichokes, one of the most loved winter vegetables used in many traditional roman recipes. Made with pasta or mixed with other greens, it is when cooked alone as a side plate that artichoke reaches its best flavour. Given the great variety of artichokes which naturally grow in southern Lazio, Roman cuisine has many recipes to celebrate the winter flower of the table: one of the most famous and tasty is the Roman-style artichoke.  

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Roman-style Artichokes: a classic in Roman cuisine

Artichokes classic vegetable in Roman cuisine

In Rome, the artichoke season is something very serious thanks to the many delicious plates prepared with this winter green: roasted to be eaten with bread, mixed with eggs for omelettes or chopped to make healthy salads, there are plenty of ways to cook the “king” of winter vegetables. Roman style artichoke is a simply but really tasty recipe to cook this winter delicacy: along with other few ingredients, the vegetable must be stewed in a pot very slowly for at least 30 minutes and the result will be delicious. Served in any typical restaurant in Rome during the winter season as appetizer or side plate, Roman style artichoke must not be confused with the Jewish artichoke (carciofo alla giudea) another traditional Roman recipe of the winter season (in this latter case the green has to be fried twice).

Roman style artichoke: the original recipe

Roman style artichoke: the original recipe

How to make a traditional Roman-style artichoke? Let's see with us the ingredients and the main proceeding to make tasty Roman style artichokes.

Ingredients (for 4 portions) :

8 artichokes

1 lemon

2 cloves of garlic

parsley

Roman mint

extra virgin olive oil

salt

black pepper

First of all, clean the artichokes by removing the hardest leaves, cut the thorns using a small knife and make a spiral movement, and leave only 4-5 centimeters of the stems, (the cut part must be pilled because it will be cooked with the artichokes). To avoid the oxidation, cleaned artichokes must be put into water with lemon, in this way they will not turn brown. Chop and mix garlic, parsley, mint, extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper then put the mince inside each artichoke.

Put the greens inside a deep pot with the stems up and the artichokes close together, then cook them at least for 5 minutes. After the oil starts to fry, add some water, cover the pot and cook the artichokes slowly for 35 minutes. When the greens become tender, the Roman style artichokes will be ready.

The secrets for a perfect Roman style artichoke

The secrets for a perfect Roman style artichoke

Anyone in Rome has got the secret ingredient to make the perfect and delicious Roman style artichoke. For us there are no secrets, the origins and the quality of the ingredients being the most important thing. To cook the best Roman style artichoke, it is fundamental to use lesser calamint (called in Rome mentuccia), a kind of mint which has a lighter flavour that exalts the artichoke's taste, and over all to choose the original variety of artichoke required for this recipe: the Romanesco variety, which is harvested in southern Lazio between January and April.

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