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Roman Style Artichokes Carciofi alla Romana Recipe

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Springtime Delight: Carciofi alla Romana!

In Rome, nothing says spring quite like artichokes! Try this delightful recipe for traditional Roman-style artichokes (Carciofi alla Romana). Beautiful globe artichokes are stuffed with garlic and wild mint, then slowly braised until they’re soft, tender, and aromatic.

Spring is peak artichoke season in Rome, and you’ll see these plump, purple-green spheres stacked up at markets all over the city. The word carciofi will appear on every menu in town. One of the most beloved recipes is alla romana or Roman Style Artichokes which is easy to prepare at home and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Eat them as an appetizer or side dish.

Tips from Mamma Giuliana

The trickiest part of this recipe is trimming the artichokes, but don’t worry—Mamma Giuliana is an expert! Follow her simple instructions for preparing artichokes. Traditionally, Romans stuff their artichokes with a mixture of garlic and a local wild mint called mentuccia (lesser calamint in English). If you can’t find mentuccia, you can use regular mint mixed with fresh oregano for a similar flavor.

Roman Style Artichokes Recipe


Globe artichokes
Bunch of Roman mint (mentuccia)
Half a glass of extra virgin olive oil
Optional: a splash of white wine

How to Clean Artichokes

Fill a large bowl with cold water, cut 2 lemons in half, squeeze the juice into the water, and add the lemon halves. This will stop the artichokes from oxidizing and turning black.

Wearing gloves to avoid staining your hands, rip off the hard outer leaves until you reach the soft, yellow, inner leaves. Cut off all but 2 inches (5 cm) of the stalk and set aside. Continue trimming the artichoke by paring down the rough outer layer of the stem, then cut off the tops of the leaves straight across. Rub the artichoke all over with a lemon half, then put it into the bowl of lemon water. Trim the extra stalks and add them to the water.

How to Prepare Artichokes

Finely chop a couple of cloves of garlic (adjust to taste) and a small bunch of mint leaves. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, then sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over your work surface.

Take the first artichoke, slam it firmly on the table to open up the leaves, then pry them open with your fingers and stuff the garlic and herb mixture inside. Roll the exterior of the artichoke in the salt and pepper, then place it stalk-end up in a large saucepan.

Once all your artichokes and stalks are in the pan, pour in half a glass of extra virgin olive oil (4 oz) and two glasses of water. You can also add a splash of white wine for extra flavor. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and cook on low heat for about half an hour. Check for doneness by poking a fork or knife into the center at the base of the stem. When the artichokes are soft, they are ready to eat.

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