The artichokes are a typical product of Lazio, the region of Rome. Every April in Sezze and Ladispoli, two towns town around Rome, the local communities organize the Artichokes Festivals with food tasting stands, old traditional costumes parades and guided tours. The artichokes are a classic dish of Rome, and a specialy version of the dish became famous in the Jewish ghetto of Rome. For this recipe you must use the Cimaroli, also called Mammole or Romanesco. These artichokes must have certain characteristics : a diameter of not less than 7-10 cm , should have a spherical shape and a green- purple color, absence of thorns and internal hair and softer consistency. In case you cannot find this special variety, use can try to use the “violet” one. Here in Rome, Jewish housewives prepared this simple but tasty dish that was eaten especially during the celebration of Yom Kippur .
- Peppper to taste
- 1 lemon squeezed
- Salt q.s.
- Roman artichokes
- extra virgin olive oil , 1.5 lt
- To prepare the artichokes start with cleaning the artichokes : remove tough outer leaves until you get to the inner softer ones.
- You must cut off the purple part of each leaf, using a boxcutter curved blade , taking care not to damage the leaf underneath , thus proceeding gradually inward
- At the end of this operation , the artichoke has taken the form of a round rose . At this point cut off the outer part and more leathery of the stem and the attachments of the outer leaves that were removed the top .
- Then immerse the artichokes so clean in a basin with water lemon juice, for at least 10 minutes.
Remove them from the water , drain, dry and beat them against one another to ensure that the leaves start to open .
- Heat oil in a pan in such a quantity that the artichokes will be covered .
Immerse the artichokes and then leave them in hot , but not boiling oil ( 140/150 ° C will be fine ) for 10-15 minutes , long enough so that they cook without becoming too soft, to check the cooking just prick the base of the artichoke with the tines of a fork , if the fork will penetrate into the artichoke , you can remove it from the oil.
- Remove them from the oil, let cool upside down in a tray for about twenty minutes ( so that they lose the excess oil ) and , with a fork , open the leaves from the inside outwards mo ‘ flower so assume that the characteristic shape of a ” blossomed rose “. At this point , season the inside of the artichokes with salt and abundant pepper, let them rest for a few minutes to make sure that they absorb the flavors before cooking them again.
- Sprinkle them with water ( or white wine ) and dip them in oil , raising the temperature slightly but being careful not to burn them. Remove them after about 1 minute and put them to dry on a paper towel .
Serve piping hot and …. buon appetito!