Carlo's Mamma's Baked Artichoke Recipe
It was seeing a pile of artichokes in a shopping trolley in the street that inspired me to buy these on a trip to Bosa in Sardinia.
As soon as I bought these artichokes I rushed over to see our friend Carlo who I know is a big fan of eating the tips and stems raw dipped in olive oil and salt.
Try them raw
He prepared them and I joined him in eating them. I loved the tips but the stems were very bitter and gave your tongue a kind if strange coating.
He adored it all - a delicious memory from his childhood he said smiling wryly at my screwed up face.
I asked him if his Mamma ever cooked them and he was thrilled to show me how. So here we have it - Carlo's Mamma's recipe - simple and delightful and not bitter at all.
Great artichokes sold from a shopping trolley
First Carlo stripped down the artichoke stem, and carefully but firmly cut across the bottom and top of the artichoke, being careful to avoid the sharp spikes, in order to create the artichoke heart.
Carlo set to work straight away
He immediately rubbed it all down with a cut lemon to prevent the artichoke blackening.
He then scooped out the middle and prepared some finely chopped garlic and basil and stuffed the artichoke hearts with it adding a touch of salt.
Carlo started with them covered in tinfoil
They were then topped with extra virgin olive oil and placed in a baking tray with some cut lemon and crucially some water. The dish needs to have enough water in it to make it steam. However you don't want so much water that it boils the artichokes. Check on it whilst cooking and top it up a bit if needed.
Initially Carlo covered them with tinfoil to get them cooking and then removed it close to the end to get some colour. They were finished when they were soft enough for a knife to easily go into them,
You can see that they all went down well....