Recipes   /   Carciofi alla Fiesolana – Braised Artichokes

Carciofi alla Fiesolana – Braised Artichokes

Oct 12, 2011 by Gabriele Corcos

DIFFICULTY

Artichokes, along with beets and mushrooms represent for me a moment of growth for my palate. I still remember clearly (you know those memories you cannot shake off) my parents trying to force me to eat those tough raw green leaves when I was a kid: they could not convince me, no matter the effort. There are many flavors you get to enjoy in life, only after you have developed a sense, an affinity for them.  I tried to convince both my daughters that artichoke leaves in”Pinzimonio” (eating raw vegetables dipped in evoo, salt and pepper) are really good for them, and I told them of how Tuscan and traditional the whole “experience” is. They just looked at me sideways and move on.

So I moved to “plan B”, and I created a recipe that is in between the traditional “Carciofi alla Romana”, which are lightly stuffed with herbs, and a recipe I picked up at Angelini Osteria a few months back, while spending some time on the line with Maestro Gino.

Now my daughters are in heaven every time I serve this dish.

Serves: 4 / Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cooking Time: 60 minutes

  • 20 baby artichokes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 lb guanciale or pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 handful fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1Fill a large bowl with water and add the lemon juice.

2Remove the outer leaves of the artichoke uncovering the more light pale green heart. Use a potato peeler to shave the stem of the artichoke, cut the excess stem with scissors or with a pairing knife.

3As you proceed place the cleaned artichokes in the citrus water to prevent them from oxidizing and spotting the leaves with dark brown dots.

4In a small pot, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

5In a large non-stick pan heat olive oil on a medium-high until hot. Add the guanciale and sauté for about 10 minutes. Stir often and make sure it gets golden and crisp. Add onion and reduce the heat to medium, and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.

 

6Lower the heat to a simmer, and one at the time place the artichoke hearts, head down, on top of the soffritto. Add a ladle of warm vegetable stock and cover with a lid.

7Cook for about 40 to 50 minutes, adding a ladle of stock when necessary (1 cup is just an indication, you might need less) and gently shaking the pan to move the artichokes and prevent them from sticking. Artichokes will be ready when they feel very soft to the touch; be careful as they are very delicate at the end and they might fall apart when being handled.

8Transfer to a platter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

 

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