This week the Sunday Supper team is sharing recipes for lighter foods to balance out the indulgences that go along with all the feasting, parties and celebrations of the upcoming holiday season.
And what better than artichokes to eat lighter, healthier but still delicious food? Did you know that the total antioxidant capacity of artichokes is one of the highest reported for vegetables? Artichokes also aid digestion and help reduce cholesterol levels! So I say, they fit the bill perfectly. Today’s recipe is from the Sicilian town of Trapani, where my mother is from. In fact Carciofi alla Trapanese simply means Artichokes Trapani style. Sicily has some of the best artichokes in the world and they are a staple in winter Sicilian cooking, so I have always eaten plenty of them and made in many different ways. This variation is a very simple dish, made with everyday, humble ingredients. Yet it is one of the best ways to enjoy artichokes as they remain the star of the show. These should be eaten with your hands, by removing and nibbing on each leaf before eating the artichoke heart with your fork. They can be served as an appetiser or a side dish, or as a main dish (in this case, I would serve 2 per person). I really hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Thank you very much to Kathia of Basic N Delicious for being such a great host!
Carciofi alla Trapanese #SundaySupper
Carciofi alla Trapanese - the recipe for a traditional and healthy Sicilian dish made with artichokes and a few simple ingredients.
- 4 artichokes
- 4 tbsp Pecorino Romano finely grated
- 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp parsley chopped
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- Salt to taste
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Cut the artichokes’ stems completely, so that the artichokes can sit up straight. Remove the outer most layer i.e. the hardest leaves. If your artichokes have thorns, cut off the end of their leaves.
Wash the artichokes and bang them lightly on the benchtop with the opening facing down, so that the leaves slightly loosen up and open. This will make it easier to fill.
Put the artichokes, upright, in a sauce pan.
In a bowl, mix together the grated Pecorino Romano, breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, garlic and salt.
Divide this mixture among the artichokes, and using your fingers, put it inside the leaves so it is evenly distributed.
Drizzle the top of the artichokes with extra virgin olive oil.
Pour some water in the saucepan (but make sure not to wet the top of the artichokes or the filling will go all soggy), up until it reaches 1/3 of the height of the artichokes (you may need to add a little more if your artichokes take a bit longer to cook).
Cook on a low flame, covered, for about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the artichokes you are using. To make sure they are cooked, pull one of the external leaves, if it comes out easily, they are cooked.
Serve, warm or at room temperature, with their cooking juices.
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