Roman Artichokes or Carfiofi alla Romana. I was going to post this one month ago - but then "life" happened as it often does.
Straight forward and easy (yes, cleaning the artichokes takes a little time. Put on music and go to your zen place) but once that is done, it's smooth sailing.
Traditionally, the recipe calls for about one tablespoon of fresh Italian parsley and three tablespoons of fresh mint. My early spring garden had Italian parsley, oregano and a touch of mint so that's what I used.
Ingredients - serves 3-6
3 artichokes - halved, trimmed
4 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (Italian parsley, mint, oregano, basil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup boiling water
Trim artichokes and remove choke. "How to instructions" can be found here and here. Plunge each one into lemon water as you continue trimming.
Combine minced herbs, garlic and olive oil. Put herb mixture into the cavity of the halved artichoke.
Fit them all snuggly into a deep pan so that they don't fall over. Pour the white wine and boiling water over them and simmer for about an hour until tender.
Hunger is a great motivator. I often wonder when someone pulled up their first artichoke and declared, "A thistle! Let's eat it!" I think that's what I love about the "cucina povera." The frugal, peasant recipes of Italy will always call to me. It's a bond with past generations.
And that's about the amount of cooking I have managed in the last two months because...
... in April I was at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah working on my play Almost, Mary (about Mary Anning, the first female paleontologist).
And then I was in Evanston, IL with the Purple Crayon Players for my play Bound by Stardust - my quirky Otto Schmidt/North Pole/physics play.
And then I was fortunate enough to be in Independence, Kansas at the William Inge Festival of New Plays with my one-act A Paper Forest (about climate change).That's William Inge's home above - I am a great fan of that playwright - he wrote so eloquently about small town America.
And because we needed more excitement - Matthew successfully defended his PhD in plant pathology in May. Ironically, his degree will confer on May 31 - the same day that Kirsten's AuD will confer. (They're a little competitive.) So ladies and gentleman - may I introduce Dr. Haas and Dr. Haas!
AND...thirty years ago today, I began an adventure ...
The adventure continues today. The "kids" took us out for a celebratory dinner (Italian) and tonight - we will do Chinese take-out. How's that for a journey of an Italian cook? And because we weren't busy enough this spring, we will be hosting a farewell barbecue for my eldest who moves to Germany on May 30th. (It's getting real.) Happy Spring, all.