Baked Artichokes Country Style

(“Carciofi Alla Contadina”- “Cacocciuli a Viddanedda”)

 

A different and delicious appetizer, a compliment to a meal as side dish and a vegetarian selection that easily can be a main dish. The following recipe is the way “Cacocciuli a Viddanedda” was cooked by my mother and all my aunts and it is the only manner that I prepared them at Joe’s of Avenue U. this delectable nosh received a positive acceptance from our customers
at all times.

 

SERVES 6 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 artichokes
  • 3 cloves of garlic - minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 cup of grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 7 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ lemon

 

PREPARATION 

When preparing artichokes for cooking, wear utility gloves so you can avoid staining your hands. Prepare a basin with water, acidulated with the juice of a lemon, to soak the artichokes after they are trimmed, to prevent discoloration. 
Wash the artichokes to remove sand, small stone or any foreign object. 
Remove stem and discard hard outer leaves, the first 2 or 3 rows, until the artichoke’s leaves became light in color and usually tender. Trim base and cut off one-third of the petals eliminating the pointy top. Cut the artichokes in half the long way, eliminate any prickly leaves and the choke, the filament non edible part at bottom of the artichokes.
Place the halfed artichokes in a pot with lightly salted cold water; add the lemon after squeezing a few drops of juice into the pot.
Bring pot to a boil and simmer for 20/30 minutes. Check often and if needed add some water. Artichokes are done when pulling a leaf, it comes off easily. 
When artichokes are done, place them in a dish using a slatted spoon and set on the side. 

 

 

Cooking

Step One
In a medium size skillet, place 6 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the minced garlic until very light golden in color, remove from heat, add and smash the anchovies into the garlic, put in half of the chopped parsley and set on the side.
In the same skillet, lightly toast the breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set on the side.

Step Two
Place the halved artichokes in an oiled baking pan, cut side up and sprinkle each artichoke with some salt and pepper to taste. 
Divide equally on top of the halved artichokes the cheese, the remaining parsley, the mint, the sautéed garlic and parsley, and dust with the lightly toasted breadcrumbs.

 

Step Three
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
It can be served hot or cold.