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Roasted Artichokes
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Roasted Artichokes

Roasted Artichokes

Recipes, Roasted Artichokes and tips

The White Hat Rat

artichokes prepared for roasting

Here is one of the ways we like to cook artichokes.

Firstly, there are two implements essential for consuming this dish - namely two maxillary central incisors - the two top front teeth. When eating artichokes, the flesh is scraped from the leaf by means of these implements. That means it is a particularly useful dish if you want to annoy a dentally challenged father in law or frustrate an annoying younger brother who is waiting for his second teeth to fully emerge.

To prepare the artichokes (one large artichoke per person will be sufficient for a starter or side dish) peel off the tough outer leaves, chop off the spiky top and all but the top part of the stalk. Peel the remaining stalk with a potato peeler to remove the tough outer layer.

At this stage you can decide to keep on removing leaves until you get to the softer meatier ones, or you can let your guests sort that out for themselves after they are cooked. After all, the tougher outer ones still form little spoons for scooping up the juices in the bottom of the bowl.

Now it is time to bisect and dechoke (they re technical terms used by practised chefs such as ourselves - for the rest you that means cut the artichoke in half down the middle and scoop out the fibrous heart or choke .) If the artichokes are young and small you may not need to do this. Bisect again meaning we know have - yes, you up the back - very good - quarters. Rub each of the quarters with lemon and throw the quartered artichokes and lemon into a bowl of water while you get on with the rest of the show.

Now it is time for the flavourings. Serving artichokes are a bit like serving mussels - the cooking juices are half the point of the dish. Choose a large ovenproof dish that can also be used on the stovetop. You can choose your own flavourings but depending on what s to hand we prefer to briefly saut some finely sliced garlic in oil then add plenty of lemon juice, bay leaves, olives, the drained artichokes and lemon pieces some soft herbs such as thyme and parsley and bring to a simmer for a while before transferring to the oven (medium heat, about 45 minutes or when some of the leaves are starting to brown.)

Remove and let cool until luke-warm then season with freshly ground pepper and good salt flakes. You might also like Parmesan cheese but we find that a bit overpowering.

We like to serve with thin slices of prosciutto on the side and, of course, crusty bread - that way father in law and annoying little brother at least get something to eat.

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