It was seeing this shopping trolley in the street that inspired me to cook artichoke on a recent trip to Bosa.
I rushed over to see our friend Carlo who I know is a big fan of eating the tips and stems raw dipped in olive oil and salt. I joined him and loved the tips but the stems were very bitter and gave your tongue a kind if strange coating. He adored it – a delicious memory from his childhood he said smiling wryly at my screwed up face,
I asked him if his Mamma ever cooked them and he was thrilled to show me how. So here we have it – Carlo’s Mamma’s recipe – simple and delightful.
First Carlo stripped down the artichoke stem, and carefully but firmly cut across the bottom and top of the artichoke, being careful to avoid the sharp spikes, in order to create the artichoke heart.
He immediately rubbed it all down with a cut lemon to prevent the artichoke blackening.
He then scooped out the middle and prepared some finely chopped garlic and basil and stuffed the artichoke hearts with it adding a touch of salt.
They were then topped with extra virgin olive oil and placed in a baking tray with some cut lemon and crucially some water. The dish needs to have enough water in it to make it steam. However you don’t want so much water that it boils the artichokes. Check on it whilst cooking and top it up a bit if needed.
Initially Carlo covered them with tinfoil to get them cooking and then removed it close to the end to get some colour.