CARCIOFI AL LIMONE or ARTICHOKES COOKED IN OIL AND LEMON


I am really fond of artichokes. One of the many things Kia, my mother, has given me is the appreciation of certain moments in life. She was a dedicated celebrator, i.e. she took any opportunity to celebrate; birthdays, anniversaries, passed exams anything was worth to celebrate and that also included certain culinary moments of the year. One of these was the period of the autumn when you could find artichokes. When I grew up in Sweden you could only find the big, round type, those called California artichokes in the States and mammole in Italy but now the choice is wider. Kia bought these anyway and treated them like gold, she boiled them and then we ate them, ripping off leaf by leaf and dipping them in melted butter and just enjoying the wonderful sweet taste of the artichoke mixing itself with the salty butter. She made this into one of the many highlights of the year, like many other moments. She is still alive but unfortunately she has got Alzheimer’s disease since many years so she beyond this type of appreciation (but she does like music) but she has left me those moments and I try to continue on the road she indicated… So when I first met the abundance of artichokes in Italy, I was almost drunk! More varieties, more dishes and more, number wise, artichokes than I ever dreamt of! I use them in risotto, with pasta, stuffed and stewed but my favourite artichoke dish is the simplest of them all: artichokes cooked in olive oil with lemon juice and parsley. It is a wonderful side dish and it is great cold on some nice bread.





CARCIOFI AL LIMONE or ARTICHOKES COOKED IN OIL AND LEMON

Artichokes, not the big, round type but the more pointed and slender type (the names change from country to country and I am very grateful if you could tell me what they are called where you live, in this way I will learn a lot!)
Lemon juice, of ½ lemon
Chopped parsley
Salt
Olive oil

– Clean the artichokes, you have to discard more leaves than you think necessary and then you cut the top of the remaining leaves approx. 3 cm above the ‘root’. (See picture above.) Divide the artichokes in quarters.
– Pour a good amount of olive oil into a casserole, about 1 ½ – 2 dl, add the artichokes and pour the lemon juice over it. But do taste it before because if it is very acid, you have to add less. Add salt and stir.
– Let it cook until they are tender, it takes about 15-20 minutes, and when It is almost ready, you add the chopped parsley. Keep an eye on it while it is cooking as it easily gets not really burnt but almost deep-fried and dry.
– Serve it hot or cold-it is delicious both ways.



L