Of all the vegetables in the thistle family, I'd have to say the artichoke tops out at number one on my list of favorites (quick, name at least two other edible thistles). And of all the food blogs out there where I find the most inspiration, well... I'm loyal. And the quintessential kid sister.
For the past month, Elizabeth Minchilli has been documenting what she calls "artichoke porn" over at her website, facebook page, twitter account, and anyplace else where a gorgeous photo of an artichoke is warranted.
It's been bumming me out, man. Forget about the fact that she always grabbed the best Barbie clothes (she got the turquoise/silver glittery ballgown; I ended up with the navy blue stewardess suit), or got a smokin' hot Dodge dart for her 20th birthday, she gets the best artichokes, too.
I mean, I'm the number one fan of artichokes in the world, but it's not like I'm seeing the gorgeous, purple globes in my neck of the woods. I checked out the stocks at Fairway. Meh. Nothing special. Whole Foods? Again, nothing to rave about, and certainly not worth the 5 bucks a piece. Shoprite? Actually, not bad.
|As seen in Campo de' Fiori, not to be confused with Stamford.|
|As seen in Stamford, not to be confused with Campo de' Fiori.|
The recipe is as classic as it is simple. Prep the chokes, make a marinade/paste of garlic, mint, parsley and olive oil, simmer on the stove, gorge.
Italy is the largest producer of artichokes in the world. 486,600 metric tonnes. That's alotta artichokes. The U.S. by comparison outputs 50,000. My point: Italy knows a thing or two about artichokes. My second point: my sister knows more about artichokes than I do. But I know more about the Yankees starting line-up. So there.
There are plenty of websites and cookbooks that have carciofi alla Romana, but I encourage you to visit Elizabeth's. Not only is it the truly authentic dish you're looking for (even if you have to use non-Italian artichokes), but she has a lovely photo display of prepping the artichokes. It takes a bit of work, but totally worth it.
|Not a bad aunt, either.|