October 28, 2009

HHDH: Carciofi Aglio E Prezzemolo

  Hay Hay its Donna Day

Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is in season here. I quite like the green heads of them filling out vegetable boxes in our local growers market. Proudly to say that New Zealand grows our own artichoke, so you know. I also am planning to grow one or two in my own garden next year. I think it will be handy to have them fresh and available in Spring.

I have this old recipe (it was written by Alessandra Zecchini on a culinary magazine as far as I remember), to participate on Hay Hay It's Donna Hay, created by Barbara of Winos and Foodies, once facilitated by Bron of Bron Marshall, and now it is organized by Chez Us and this month is hosted by J of Have Fork Will Travel.

This dish is really good to be served as a starter with a group of people you know well. Sharing laughters over a plateful of artichokes by plucking each leaf is a sensuous affair. Garlic and parsley give great flavour on the basic taste of artichoke, with a generous amount and season, allow yourself licking the mixed flavour lingered on your fingers. A sip of wine perhaps a good idea. I don't drink, so I leave it up to you to choose a good wine to company your relaxing dinner.

Carciofi Aglio E Prezzemolo by Arfi Binsted 2009

In the recipe, Zecchini uses fresh garlic, I use roast garlic instead. I bought smoked garlic from the farmers' market the other day and I roasted it. The flavour is awesome! You can smell the lovely earthy with smoky flavour which you can almost taste it on the tip of your tongue. Mixing it with freshly chopped parsley and olive oil, it is a great journey with this sensational garlicky and herby artichokes.

So, here's what I do with the artichokes.

Carciofi Aglio E Prezzemolo-2 by Arfi Binsted 2009

Carciofi Aglio E Prezzemolo for Two
adapted from Alessandra Zecchini's recipe.

2 small artichoke heads
a handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped well
a good drizzle of olive oil
vegetable stock
3 cloves roast garlic, peeled and minced
1 fresh clove garlic, finely chopped with extra freshly chopped Italian parsley and mixed with a tablespoon olive oil, salt and black pepper

Use mezzaluna if you wish to chop herbs and garlic well.

Mezzaluna by Arfi Binsted 2009

Prepare a bowl of lemon juice and slice from 1-2 lemon(s), pour in cold water. Set aside. Prepare the artichokes. Cut the stems. Use a serrated knife, cut the tip of artichoke heads, just to reveal the heart. Make the parsley paste by mixing the freshly chopped Italian parsley, and minced roast garlic. Stuff this mixture generously in between the leaves and heart. Put these artichokes in a saucepan to fit enough, drizzle with olive oil, and pour in vegetable stock just to cover half-way. Simmer and cook until the artichokes are cooked. You can pluck the leaves easily when they are cooked.

Remove from the saucepan on the serving plate. Spoon the extra mixture of parsley, garlic and olive oil to serve. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to season. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

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Happy cook said...

I have only had them from tins, never made them from scratch. Looks like a lot of work. But i am sure it is waorth it as the taste has to be so good.

Dominique said...

Here too it's artichoke season. I've taken nice pictures in the fields near home! Thank you sharing your recipe...

amerrierworld said...

I saw some globe artichokes that had been left to go to seed on my recent visit to Rosemoor (RHS gardens here in Devon). They had the most beautiful purple flowers - it almost seemed a shame that we eat artichokes before they have a chance to flower!

Barbara said...

They are gorgeous arfi. I borrowered a book of Alessandra's from the library last week. Such a pity we didn't know of her when I lived in Auckland. It would have been nice to meet up.

Your food styling is fabulous too.

Soma said...

I have never seen a prettier looking artichokes. I love artichokes in any form, but have never gone through the trouble of using the fresh ones. This is a beautiful recipe.


Arwen said...

I've never cooked artichokes, but they look beautiful. Let us know how they go in the garden!

sunita said...

Arfi, how pretty your artichokes look- love them :-)

Alessandra said...

Ciao Arfi,

thank you for mentioning me on your blog for the artichoke recipe, this is a real good blogger etiquette...and also gave me a chance to come across your blog (which is great, btw, and if you don't mind I would like to put it on my list of interesting blogs and websites).

you can see the original version of the recipe by scrolling down the sidebar on http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.com/

I have been cooking with artichokes quite a bit too recently, I just need to find the time to put pics and recipes on the blog now!

I like the idea of using smoked garlic, brava!

and a message for Barbara: who knows, we may always meet someday, somewhere! And meeting people virtually is good too.



Cakelaw said...

I have always wanted a mezzaluna, ever since seeing Nigella's! Love your artichoke dish - I have never cooked with them.

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

Thanks for participating in this month's HHDD. Be sure to run over to Jo's site to help vote for a winner who will host the next round of HHDD.

michael said...

Hi there,
I'm scouting out artichoke recipes and this is one of the better ones.
I am accumulating lots more artichoke recipes here while they are in season.
check them out if you like.

Arfi Binsted said...

hello, Michael. For some reason, I cannot open your page :)