Helena Papadopoulos & Ian Constas, Carciofi alla Romana
(Artichokes the Roman Way)
My husband is half Italian and he travels to Rome at least once a month. The flight from Athens is quite short so sometimes he will pick-up fresh pasta or vegetables from the market in Rome and we will cook them the same evening in Athens. In the spring, you see artichokes everywhere in Rome—in every single restaurant, as decoration, in the market where they can also clean them for you. There are several ways to cook them, the simplest being to drop them whole in salty water, boil to taste, then dip the leaves in olive oil and eat the soft part as you are sipping a nice glass of wine. What is special about the Artichokes the Roman Way is the addition of anchovies, and above all, the fresh mint leaves. Artichokes are delicious; they are not a vegetable strictly speaking, they are a type of thistle (Cynara cardunculus) and in the Mediterranean they have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. In greek they are called: AGGINARES (αγγινάρες).
Buon appetito! Καλή όρεξη!