Roman Artichoke Mammole Extra
Price per pack (2 pieces)
Artichokes, the immature flowers of a member of the thistle family, are one of the nicest things about winter in Central Italy; they appear with the leaden skies of December and accompany us through the beginning of spring, in April. They come in a tremendous variety of shapes and colors, from tiny delicate ones well suited for being eaten raw in pinzimonio (Sardinian Artichokes), to purplish green medium-sized (Apulia artichokes), to Carciofi Romaneschi, the large round artichokes shown here, which are ideally suited for stuffing. Once you have selected your artichokes and gotten them home, stand them in a vase with water until you're ready to use them (they are flowers, after all). If need be you can keep them like this for a day or two, but they tend to toughen with time.
Prepare the artichokes (see instructions in link below if need be), trimming them flat across the top, and boil them in lightly salted water for a few minutes; they should still be quite firm when you drain them.
In the meantime mince the mint leaves and combine them with the bread crumbs and the oil. Season the filling with salt and pepper and mix well.
Preheat your oven to 300 f (150 C).
Once the artichokes have cooled enough to be touchable, use your fingers to part the petals, so as to obtain wells. Fill the wells with the breadcrumb mixture. Scatter a few more mint leaves over the bottom of an oven dish, put the stuffed artichokes over them, and bake them for a half hour. Serve them quite hot.
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