Kazuyo gave me 4 artichokes, so we got one each and I cooked them alla romana, the best way to make a few artichokes go a long way. Cut the spikes off, and the stalks and then immediately put the artichokes in water and lemon (so that they don't become black) to wash them. Finely chop plenty of Italian parsley with garlic and a pinch of salt, and use this to fill the centre of each artichoke. Place the artichokes side up in a pot, drizzle some olive oil in the centre of each artichoke and add a little water at the bottom (about 2 fingers). Cover with a lid and simmer on low for a long time (1-2 hours) adding water from time to time. The artichokes are ready when the leaves easily detach with your fingers.
To eat the artichokes remove the harder outer leaves with your fingers and just scrape the flesh off with your teeth (keep a bowl on the side to discard the used leaves) until you get to the heart, which can be eaten whole. The remaining stock is excellent for risotto. One artichoke per person is enough, but to offer something more on the same evening I made some croquettes with mozzarella. The fact was that I bought a nice big Italian mozzarella that didn't taste 'fresh' enough to be eaten in a salad (but was ok to be cooked). So I chopped it and mixed it with one egg, a handful of breadcrumbs, a pinch of salt and some fresh sage leaves. I made 4 croquettes and pan fried them with olive oil. Very simple really, but I included the recipe because they were so yum!
I got more artichokes from Sandra and John yesterday, what a luxury! Maybe I should move from my usual recipe and make something different?? Any suggestions? This time I have more than 4!!