Here is a recipe where the cook does all the work, so I don't make this very often. It is time consuming, but the effort is rewarded by the creamy, tangy combination of soft artichokes and herby, herb-perfumed sauce. The quantities are guidelines only. Figure on two to three artichoke hearts per person if this is one of many dishes served at long lunch (bump the other ingredient volumes accordingly). Or share this amount with one special friend, as a main course with crusty bread and sweet butter.
If you want to be meaty, no harm in adding a few slices of pancetta to this.
- Cut the stems of the artichokes to about 1 1/2 inches. Cut off the artichoke tops, then break off three or four rows of leaves from the base. Peel all the green from the artichoke bottoms and stems, and sprinkle each with lemon as you finish trimming it. Place them in cold water acidulated with the juice. Your fingers will become stained from peeling, so consider gloves.
- Gently spread the leaves of each artichoke, and use a small spoon or melon baller to remove the choke.
- Peel the carrot and the onion, and cut them into thin slices. . Chop three cloves of garlic, keeping the others whole.
- To a heavy, non-reactive pan or heat-proof dish, add the onion, carrot and all the garlic to the olive oil. Slowly cook until the onion begins to turn golden, and the carrots caramelize slightly. This adds dimension to the dish, mm hm? Then add the artichokes, stem side up. Add the herbs.
- Pour the wine over the lot, and add enough water to barely cover the artichoke bottoms. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the hearts are tender when pierced, then remove the lid and reduce the cooking liquid over high heat to thicken the sauce. Taste - very important. Correct seasoning and add a splash of lemon juice.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
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