- Antipasti Italiani : baked artichokes with herbs and almonds
Italian cuisine is one of my favourite…with the Mexican one, the Caribbean one and of course, the French one 🙂
Italian cuisine is all about the ingredients, their freshness, the origin (Italian are too vain to buy a non-Italian products, anyway). Italy is all about the respect of the season, the use of natural and beautiful ingredients and as a chef (and a human being) cooking Italian food is just to enhance the beauty of it.
No sophistication needed, no fuss, just purity, beauty.
Like very often, I need a regular dose of dolce vita in my life.
From where I am at the moment on the globe, artichokes’ season has just began. For London and France it will be a bit later, June, so keep this recipe till then.
As simple as that, anti pasti came to my mind. Artichokes and a glass of Barolo, the one I tried in London with my friends Stéphanie and Carlos (wine experts) at this Italian wine fair in a church. That same Barolo that smells strawberry jam.
Baked artichokes with herbs and almonds, serves 4.
- 8 medium sized globe artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 handful of whole almonds, finely chopped
- 2 handful of breadcrumbs
- 1 handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 handful of flat parsley, finely chopped
- Salt, pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 glass of white wine
Bring some water and salt to the boil.
Trim 5cm below and above the base of the artichokes. Trim back your artichokes leaves one by one, clicking them off until you get to the lovely paler yellow and more tender leaves. Depends on the size of your artichokes cut them either in 4 or 6 pieces. Remove what we call the beard, those yellow hair in the heart of artichokes. When the water is boiling, plunge the artichokes in it for 15 min.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
Toss the garlic, almonds, breadcrumbs and herbs into a bowl, season, and loosen with a little olive oil.
When the artichokes are blanched, draine and spread them on a baking tray.
Scrunch together with your hands and put this mixture on the top of each artichoke, really packing it in. You want to fit these perfectly side by side in an appropriately-sized baking dish. Cut the lemon and tuck some slices in between. Sprinkle any excess filling over the top, drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and pour in your wine.
Wet and scrunch some baking parchment under a tap, then tuck it over the artichokes and round the edges of the dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and cook them for a final 10 min.
To serve just like that with a glass of wine or with seafood or any white meat and of course, a glass of wine.