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Carciofi in Olio d'Oliva e Aglio
Artichokes Steamed in Olive Oil and Garlic
(Carciofi in Olio d'Oliva e Aglio)
 
 
Ingredients:

4 fresh, firm artichokes
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (optional)
 
Directions:
 
To prepare the artichokes, first remove the stem.
 
Pull off any small loose leaves at the bottom.
 
Cut about 1 inch off the top and rub with the lemon. This prevents browning.
 
With a kitchen shears, cut the points off all the leaves.
 
Rub additional lemon over the entire artichoke. If desired, you can stuff some sliced garlic into some off the leaves.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a pot large enough to hold the artichokes in one layer and cover them.

Add the minced garlic and saute about 1 minute.

Place the artichokes, stem-side down, in the pot.
 
Baste with the garlic and olive oil.
 
Add enough water to come up about 1 inch. (The less water you use, the tastier it will be. However, it will also take longer to cook.)

Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the leaves pull off easily, about 1 hour depending on size and freshness of the artichokes.
 
Baste occasionally with the liquid.
 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, place each artichoke on a serving plate. If desired, sprinkle with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Serves 4.

Note: For those of you who have never eaten a whole artichoke, it is simple and lots of fun. Just remove the leaves, one at a time.
 
Place the meaty part of the leaf against your bottom teeth and then scrape to remove the flesh. If the flesh on the outer leaves seem dry, just discard them and continue.
 
After all the leaves have been removed, use a spoon to scoop out and discard the fibers from the bottom, which is all flesh, and eat that as well.

That's it!
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