Sunday, December 4, 2011

Artichokes Roman Style, and Mozzarella Croquettes

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!!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. WOW Stunning - My Dad LOVES artichokes and occasionally cooked them dripping with butter.
    They make me want to hunt some out and give them ago - I have never cooked them before...
    I do love artichoke hearts (tinned) but surely fresh is best?

  2. Ciao Alessandra, per i carciofi perchè non provi a riempirli utilizzando un impasto a base di pane sbriciolato, uovo, formaggio , prezzemolo e, se piace, aglio, ne fai un impasto tipo polpetta e lo metti nel carciofo , poi procedi alla cottura come per i carciofi alla romana.
    Comunque le tue foto sono bellissime!
    buona domenica loredana

  3. Benissimo Loredana! Ne faro' alcuni cosi' e alcuni alla siciliana (o almeno io li chiamo cosi, sarebbero come alla romana ma con il pangrattato in piu')_ perche' ho un'ospite che non mangia latticini.
    Grazie mille

  4. Thanks for this recipe! I love artichokes but have never really added any flavor to them, just dip them in mayonnaise.

    I usually have trouble when I get down to the heart of the artichoke, sometimes I can't find a lot of "heart" flesh and get too close to that hair stuff and it tastes weird. Is there maybe just something wrong with the artichokes I'm buying?

  5. Ottimi, li hai cucinati generalmente li faccio ripieni e con il sughetto ottenuto mi condisco gli spaghetti...ciao.

  6. GW, it seems like your artichokes are too old and thy have already started flowering.

    Max, condire gli spaghetti e' una buona idea :-)!

  7. What a great recipe!Have a lovely week,dear!Un bacione!

  8. Artichoke vinaigrette is the way I usually prepare it. Simple yet delicious.
    The mozza croquettes are my kind of food too ;)

  9. Hi Jenni, long time no see, I'll come and visit you :-)!

  10. Beautiful! I love that first photo Alessandra. I've never cooked a fresh artichoke! Will keep your instructions handy :)

  11. I am cooking some more today, will keep you posted!!

  12. Thanks, that explains a lot! I will try buying them from a fresher source!

  13. @ GW, I had one last night that had 'hair' in it, pity but it happens, just discard them with the hard parts of the leaves on the side of the plate and eat the heart underneath. but one in ten is acceptable! :-)

  14. Ciao Alessandra! Tua foto e' belissima. You have an awesome camera. I love artichokes. Here in California we eat them regularly in season. Will have to try Romano style.

  15. I know that you have a lot of Artichokes in California Mario, you are so lucky!! My camera is just an iPhone :-). Easy!

  16. I'm definitely trying this. Love the idea of the mozzarella croquettes too - great idea and sounds very yummy.
    Sue xo

  17. I think that you will like them Sue, and they are so easy :-)

  18. Beautiful photos of a beautiful dish, Alessandra!

  19. Hi Michael, long time no see, I will visit you soon as well!!


  20. Oh those croquettes sound terribly moreish! I am a fan of artichokes...these sound great. Recently I did some on bruschetta with olives and capers...yum!

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