Carciofi alla Napoletana – {Artichokes Napoletana}

Is it summer yet? It certainly doesn’t feel like it here. Lately during these long days of quarantining I’ve set my mind on those warmer (hopefully much more normal) months of summer quickly approaching. One of the essential Italian cookbooks every home cook should have in their kitchen is The Silver Spoon. It’s unmistakable in it’s massive collection of classic and easy to prepare Italian recipes. It’s a ‘go-to’ book for inspiration in my kitchen, in particular during the summer months.

Today I was searching for an easy recipe for dinner, something not too involved and with limited ingredients that I could prepare quickly. I came across an in depth section on Artichokes and all the different variations of preparation. Naturally I was intrigued.

I’ve already known about how important Artichokes are in Italian cooking, in particular in Southern Italy. I decided to prepare Artichokes Napoletana which proved to be a major success in bringing out the incredible rich and smooth flavor of properly prepared artichokes!

Here is my take on the recipe with a couple substitutions as expected!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 Globe Artichokes (typically easily found at your local farmer’s market or grocer.)
  • *Note – Artichokes are in season during the months from September to May
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 TBSP of EVOO
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
  • 1 Cup pitted and chopped green olives
  • Salt and Pepper
  • *Note – the recipe also called for capers. I am not a fan of capers so I left those out.

Here’s how to do it:

Halve your artichokes and remove the choke.

*Note – Be sure to remove the ‘Choke’ of the artichoke. This is the ‘furry’ fibrous section in the middle of the artichoke. They call them the ‘choke’ for a reason and they should not be eaten.

Once you have halved and cleaned them, removing the choke as mentioned above, wedge them into even pieces.

In a large bowl put 1/2 cup of warm water along with the juice of 1 lemon.

Place your artichokes in the bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

While your artichokes are sitting in the water and lemon juice, heat your EVOO in a large pan along with your 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Allow your garlic to brown, afterwards removing from the pan along with the majority of your oil.

Add your garlic wedges & olives to the pan and sear on med-high for roughly 5 minutes, turning them over on each side so they are evenly seared.

Reduce heat and let your pan cool down enough to safely add 3/4 cup of warm water to your pan.  Allow your pan to cool.  Safety Note: Do not add water to a sizzling hot pan with oil in it!

Place a lid on your pan and allow to simmer for roughy 30 minutes on medium-low heat.

*Note – about half way thru (15 minutes) I like to squeeze a bit more lemon juice on the artichokes while they’re cooking. Also a sprinkle of Salt and Pepper at this stage doesn’t hurt either. Rotating the artichokes once or twice during the cooking process helps as well.

*You know your artichokes are done when you can easily put a fork thru them.

Plate the artichokes, season a bit with a touch more salt and pepper and garnish with your parsley and remaining lemon wedges. The result is a glistening, buttery, savory and delicious classic Italian dish (or side dish) you can easily prepare and enjoy in under 30 minutes!

Enjoy!

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