Have you ever had Roman-style artichokes? They're amazing! They have a delicate, almost nutty flavor, and they're so fun to eat. You start by peeling away the leaves until you get to the soft, delicious artichoke buds. The method for this Roman artichoke recipe uses garlic, salt, and olive oil to give the artichokes a delicious flavor. Best of all, it's easy to make!
Once you've eaten artichoke hearts within the artichoke buds, you're left with a tasty little morsel in the bottom of the bowl. If you've never had one before, I highly recommend trying them. You can find them at most grocery stores or specialty food stores. Enjoy!
In this recipe, we tell you about the artichoke's beauty with a traditional dish from Lazio, the "Carciofi alla Romana" (Roman-style artichokes).
Whether you are from Rome or not, serving "Carciofi alla Romana" will always be a success!
🤔 The Origins of the Roman Artichokes
Artichokes are considered a domesticated version of the cardoon and are rooted in Southern Italy.
At some point, locals developed a local artichoke variety in the coastal area near Rome. This cultivar is known as the carciofo romanesco (Roman artichoke) in recognition of its origins.
The Romanesco artichoke is rounder than other cultivars and is a little bigger than a tennis ball.
You will find that the outer leaves are softer than the green ones, meaning that we can eat most of the artichoke with little thrown away. Luckily, this has led to them being cooked and eaten whole.
Nothing is left to chance in preparing this fragrant and straightforward side dish:
Choose a suitable variety of artichokes (the violet one AKA Romanesco artichoke). This variety is distinguished from the others by its rounder shape and its thornless leaves.
Picking fresh parsley and mint (or even better: mentuccia), and using the right amount of garlic to flavor the inside.
- Artichokes: The star of the dish, packed with fiber and antioxidants, and known for supporting liver health.
- Mint (mentuccia): Offers a fresh, aromatic twist and aids in digestion.
- Parsley: Brings a burst of earthy flavor and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K.
- Garlic cloves: Infuse the dish with robust flavor and have renowned antimicrobial properties.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Contributes heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and enhances overall taste.
- Lemon: Adds brightness and vitamin C, while balancing the flavors.
- Salt and pepper: Season the dish while also boosting nutrient absorption and aiding in digestion.
See quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card.
Step 1: Trim the Ends. Snip off the bottom stem and the top of the artichoke leaves; if they come without the tough outer leaves, that's a bonus.
Step 2: Peel the Stems. Use a vegetable peeler to strip the stems of the artichokes.
Step 3: Remove Outer Leaves. Take off the tougher outer leaves to prepare the artichokes.
Step 4: Soften. Gently roll the artichokes on a wooden surface to tenderize them.
Step 5: Open Up. Pry the leaves apart to expose the heart.
Step 6: Scoop the Center. Extract the fuzzy choke inside to avoid any prickly surprises.
Step 7: Lemon Bath. Submerge the artichokes in a lemon water mixture to prevent browning.
Step 8: Herb Stuffing. Combine chopped herbs, minced garlic, salt, and pepper, then wedge the mixture between the leaves.
Submerge and Secure: After placing the artichokes in the lemon water bath, cover them with absorbent paper or a clean towel to ensure they stay fully submerged and don't float to the surface.
Step 9: Fill and Season. Pack the herb blend generously throughout the artichoke.
Step 10: Simmer. Place the artichokes stem-side up in a pan, add olive oil and water, and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes.
Stabilize with a Plate: For an even simmer and to prevent the artichokes from toppling, rest a tea or serving plate that fits inside the saucepan directly on top of them.
Step 11: Serve. When ready, take them out and serve. Carchiofi alla Romana can be served warm or at room temperature.
In the Fridge:
- Place any leftover artichokes in an airtight container.
- Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days for best flavor retention.
- To reheat, gently warm them in a covered skillet over medium heat until heated through.
Meal Prep Tip:
- Prepare the stuffing mixture ahead of time and keep it refrigerated.
- When ready to serve, stuff the artichokes and cook as directed.
- This approach saves time and allows the flavors to meld beautifully.
🥢 How to serve
- Bread Pairing: Keep some delightful Italian bread or at hand; trust us, the richly flavored garlic-olive oil blend left at the bottom is worth savoring to the last drop!
- Bread Recommendations: Opt for an Italian Pagnotta or Focaccia to elevate your meal; they're surprisingly simple to bake and sure to impress.
- Veggie Companion: Complement your artichokes with our Romanesco Broccoli recipe for a harmonious pairing.
- Pasta Completer: Round off the feast with pasta draped in a lush, creamy vegan sauce for ultimate satisfaction.
In the Northern Hemisphere, artichokes are in season from March through May (spring season). They can be found in most grocery stores and farmer's markets during this time, but they peak over the month of April.
We eat artichokes as often as possible throughout the spring and summer months when they're at their peak of freshness, affordability, and deliciousness.
🇮🇹 Craving more simple Italian dishes
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Roman-Style Artichokes (Carciofi alla Romana)
- 4 artichokes purple roman artichokes are better but others work as well
- 1 cup mint a bunch, preferably mentuccia romana the traditional roman variety
- 1 cup parsley a bunch
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup olive oil extra virgin, pick good fragrant one
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt adjust at the end
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- To prepare the Roman-style artichokes, start by cutting the lemon in half, filling a rather large bowl with water, and squeezing in the half lemon.
- Cut off the end of the stem and the tip of your artichoke.
- With your hands, spread the artichoke, to reveal its inner part.
- Soak the artichokes inside the lemon water.
- Cover with absorbent paper or a clean towel to keep the artichokes soaked in water and prevent them from flipping.
- Prepare the filling, chopping the mint and parsley coarsely. Mince the garlic and mix it with the parsley and mint, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Roll the leaves and cut them with a knife without chopping them too much.
- Drain the artichokes, shake them slightly to remove the excess water, and then use the herb mix to stuff them. Place some mix in the core and also between the flower leaves.
- Transfer the artichokes upside down into a small-medium pan, keeping them fairly close together.
- Pour in the olive oil followed by the water so that the artichokes are covered up to the stem’s top.
- Cook for about 20-25 minutes over low heat.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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