The artichoke is such a versatile and inspiring vegetable, I feel compelled to write an additional note on how further to prepare it. As a post scriptum to the recipe for globe artichokes with flat leaf parsley and garlic, consider bringing the artichokes to the table stuffed with an aromatic soffritto, made of a lightly sautéed mixture of shallots, celery, carrots and rosemary.
Prepare the artichokes as described in the globe artichoke recipe. Meanwhile make a soffritto as follows.
Ingredients for the soffritto
- one small carrot
- one celery stalk
- one shallot or small red onion
- two cloves of garlic
- 50 grams of extra virgin olive oil
- the leaves of three sprigs of fresh rosemary
- the leaves of three sprigs of fresh sage
- six sprigs of flat leaf parsley
- 100 grams of dry white wine
- sea salt to taste
Pick the leaves of the rosemary and sage. Wash and dry the flat leaf parsley. Peel the shallot and garlic. Wash and peel the carrot. Remove the threads from the back of the celery stalk with a vegetable peeler. Chop the vegetables and herbs very fine, one by one with a sharp knife. This keeps the flavors pure and separate.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet at low heat. Sauté the garlic and shallots with the rosemary, sage and parsley for a few minutes. Add the celery and carrot, along with the white wine and a pinch of sea salt. Allow the wine to steam through the vegetables, turning off the heat as soon as the carrots and celery are cooked al dente.
Drain the artichokes in a colander and arrange them cut side up on a large platter with the cooked lemons. Fill the artichoke halves with the warm soffritto.
♦ Suggested combinations
Sprinkle the artichokes with rosemary sea salt and serve them with a bowl of homemade balsamic vinegar syrup.
Set a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on the table along with some toasted bruschetta.
A soffritto is the flavorful beginning to many Italian dishes. I use the soffritto for soups, sauces and as a stuffing for vegetables.