Puglian cuisine is famous for its use of fresh seasonal vegetables. Winter is no exception to the rule and one of the tastiest veggies around at this time of year is the mighty artichoke. Not only good to eat, this diuretic vegetable is good for you. Artichoke has excellent nutritional value, aids digestion, strengthens the liver, the gall bladder, and reduces cholesterol levels, which diminishes the risk for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Apulian Stuffed ArtichokesCredits: Flickr
200 grams of grated pecorino cheese
150 grams breadcrumbs
1 large onion
1 bunch of parsley
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, pepper to taste
Preparation time: About one hour
1. Remove hard outer leaves of the artichokes and the tips of the remaining leaves. Leave a few centimeters of the stem, but peel it.
2. Soak artichokes in water and lemon juice for a few minutes.
3. In a small bowl mix grated cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs and a bit of chopped parsley. Add salt and mix well.
4. Drain artichokes. Open up the leaves and fill the spaces between them with the cheese batter.
5. Set them in a pot with high sides, straight up. Cover with water, the water should be 4-5 cm higher than the artichokes. Add oil, sliced onion, the rest of the chopped parsley and cook for 40 minutes at medium heat. If necessary, add a bit more water.
6. Any cooking water left over can be used on egg pasta.
Apulian Fried Artichokes
A tasty recipe that children love, and a tricky way to get them to eat their vegetables.
200 grams flour
½ cup white wine (or beer)
salt, to taste
olive oil, for frying
1. Wash artichokes carefully.
2. Remove hard outer leaves of the artichokes and the tips of the remaining leaves
3. Soak artichokes in water and lemon juice for a few minutes.
4. Cut artichokes in wide lengthwise slices and dry them carefully.
5. Mix the flour, wine, egg yolks, a pinch of salt and, if necessary, a few teaspoonfuls of water to render the batter more fluid.
6. Next, add the whipped egg whites.
7. Heat oil in large frying pan.
8. Dip the artichoke slices first in the batter, then in the hot oil.
9. When golden, remove the artichokes from the oil with a slotted spoon and set them on a plate lined with blotting paper to absorb the excess oil.
10. Serve hot.