If you go to a trattoria in Rome, chances are that you will find carciofi alla romana on the menu. This way of preparing artichokes is quite simple, but very good. The mint and garlic add a nice fragrance to the artichokes. Most of the work is in cleaning the artichokes.
4 large round artichokes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh mint
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a bowl of water with some lemon juice
Peel the stem of the artichokes and remove the tough outer leaves. Slice off the top 1 cm (1/2 inch).
Gently open up the artichoke and remove the ‘hay’ that is inside with a small spoon.
Keep the artichokes in a large bowl of water in which you have squeezed half a lemon to prevent discoloration.
Mince mint and garlic…
…and place that mixture inside the artichokes. Season the inside and outside with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Arrange the artichokes, stem side up, in a pot in which they fit snugly. Add water (best is if you fill up to the stem, but they have to fit really snugly as otherwise they will float and roll over) and a generous amount of olive oil.
Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the artichokes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with some of the cooking liquid.
Artichokes are notorious when it comes to pairing wine. Your best bet may be a sparkling wine that is not too dry.
This yogurt cake with pistachios and pomegranate is really good and I’ve made it again quite often. It is very light and fresh, and with the pistachios and pomegranate seeds it looks very festive as well. There is hardly any flour in it, so it is a lot like a soufflé. Unlike many other desserts, it is not heavy at all, so even after a big meal you can still enjoy this.