serves 6 to 8, depending on size of artichoke
6 to 8 small globe artichokes
juice of 2 lemons in a shallow bowl of cold water
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced thickly
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp salt
To finish and serve 1 cup olive oil, not too fruity; broad beans and bacon (as per later recipe)
Remove and discard the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, snapping them off with the fingers until the paler, yellow leaves are revealed.
With a sharp knife, cut the tough top leaves off the artichoke horizontally, leaving about 4 to 5cm of artichoke remaining.
Trim the base end of the leaves cleanly and peel the tough fibres from the stem (about 3 to 4cm), leaving the tender, pale stalk intact.
Cut the artichoke in half vertically.
If it has a choke (young artichokes do not have a developed choke) remove it or central hairy portion of the artichoke.
Cut the artichoke halves into quarters and put into the acidulated water bath to prevent discolouration.
When all the artichokes are prepared, drain off the water and put the quarters into a shallow frying pan with the olive oil, onion, garlic, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and salt.
Add water almost to cover. Bring gently to a simmer, cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes, moving the quarters occasionally with a spoon.
With the lid off, continue to cook until the water has almost evaporated, a sticky juice remains and the artichokes are tender.
To finish and serve
Ajust the seasoning, remove the artichoke quarters to a dish to cool and pour over the pan juices and the cup of olive oil.
Serve the artichokes at room temperature mixed with the broad beans and bacon.
Broad beans and bacon
220g fresh young broad beans
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
1 rasher of bacon, chopped
salt to taste.
Place the oil and onion in a frying pan over medium heat and fry until the onion is soft, about 1 minute
Add the bacon and stir for one minute.
Add the beans, toss, and allow to cool for 3 minutes.
Season with the salt and serve with the artichokes.
Armando Percuoco, La Cucina Italiana, Four Seasons of Italian Cooking (Lansdowne, 1994)