Carciofi in Umido con Pomodoro - Artichokes with Tomatoes
Served raw or cooked, hot or cold artichokes are always a culinary winner around our kitchen table. There are countless ways to prepare this amazing wonder of nature, and here is just one of many. Today's artichokes will be cut into wedges, first stewed, then roasted in the wood-fired oven accompanied by fresh herbs and a delicious tomato reduction. Although not an easy vegetable to prepare, the end result is definitely worth the effort. This native Mediterranean plant/vegetable is known for its tender, delicious heart, but when prepared correctly even the edible part of the leaf, located at the base of each petal can also be enjoyed. Simply place each artichoke petal between slightly clenched teeth and gently pull out as the tender meat will be stripped off and fully enjoyed. Let's get started!
Squeeze a lemon into a large bowl of water. Place the squeezed lemon in bowl as well. Set aside.
Remove the outer, tough leaves of the artichoke.
With a small knife, trim the woody part off the stem of the artichoke as well as around the outer edge of the artichoke heart, as shown in the video.
First cut the artichoke into fourths, remove the hairy (choke) interior, and with aknife or scissors, cut off the prickly ends of the leaves/petals. Finally, cut all fourths in half and place the artichoke wedges in the lemon water to keep them from oxidizing.
Chop the parsley and garlic cloves and set aside.
Drain the artichokes and place them in a largeskillet.
Add the parsley, minced garlic, garlic cloves, sprinkle of oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Scatter the cherry tomatoes around the artichoke wedges.
Pour hot water into the skillet and mix in the dollops of tomato paste.
Cover the skillet with a lid and place into the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
After time is up, remove the lid and allow the liquid to reduce and the artichokes to roast. Every so often, baste the artichokes with the delicious reduction.
Once the artichokes are a nice golden brown and the water has reduced, remove them from the oven and serve immediately! Accompanied by its own delicious tomato reduction, this dish is amazing when served with a crunchy baguette. Remember that not only the tender heart of the artichoke is delicious, but the edible part of each petal located at the base of every leaf can be enjoyed as well. Simply place each artichoke petal between slightly clenched teeth and gently pull out as the tender meat of each petal will be stripped off. Enjoy!