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Artichoke Heads with Flower in Bloom

July 6, 2013

I love artichokes!!!!  However, I had never seen an artichoke head with flower in bloom until just a couple of weeks ago.  I joined a group of photography lovers from Caltagirone on an afternoon excursion “off the beaten path.” We drove through the countryside between Caltagirone and Gela, southern area of Sicily.

There is a great tradition of artichoke eating in Italy and Sicily and according to the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), out of the top ten producers of artichokes, Italy is ranked number one.

Of course, the artichokes in this post were left on the ground and would not be eaten.  This was a bad crop and the artichokes were tough.

However, for  artichokes that do not have the flower in bloom,  one way of preparing them is to stuff them. I have stuffed artichokes  for years following my grandmother and mother’s tradition. I do not follow a specific recipe,  but just throw the ingredients together. As I suspect someone reading this post may ask for the recipe, I will write down the ingredients I use for stuffing artichokes and the process.

Rosanna’s stuffed Artichokes

To stuff 4 large artichokes mix together the following ingredients:

2 cups breadcrumbs; 1/2 cup olive oil; 1/2 tspn salt; 2 crushed garlic cloves; 1/2 cup of grated parmesan; a pinch of pepper; 1 Tbspn parsley.

Process:

Open the artichokes well to wash inside them; then just start from the outside and in a spiral pattern stuff the artichokes from the outside towards the inside. Place the stuffed artichokes in a pot tightly as to not allow them to move and fill the pot with water half way up the height of the artichokes. Place pot on stove and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender.

Before serving, you may drizzle a little olive oil on the top.

I have never grilled artichokes personally, but they are fabulous grilled! When artichokes are in season in Sicily, one can smell them on the grill along the side of the streets!!!!!!!!!!!! 

jrtichoke Field just outside GELA

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Not far from these fields, high above and checking  out  the surrounding area was a stork guarding its nest!

 

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