Sunday, January 22, 2012

Carciofi ripieni alla griglia

Carciofi ripieni alla griglia  
Grilled artichokes with garlic, chilies, and pine nuts
Serves 4–6
1⁄3 cup pine nuts
4 garlic cloves, halved and any green inner
shoot removed
2 small dried red chilies
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves,
finely chopped
3 tbsp good-quality extra virgin olive
oil plus extra for serving
juice of 2 lemons
18 baby artichokes (in season in spring and
early summer)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges for serving
Heat a charcoal grill until the coals are white-hot. Toast the pine nuts in a
dry frying pan over medium-high heat for 2–3 minutes until golden brown.
Watch carefully as they burn very easily. Finely chop the garlic, and finely crush
the dried chilies with a pinch of salt. Mix together the pine nuts, garlic, chilies,
parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper.
Take an artichoke and trim down the stem. Pull the leaves apart, without
pulling them off. Work your way to the center of the artichoke. Using a
teaspoon, remove the hairy choke by scraping in a circular motion. Take a tsp
of pine nut mixture and push it down toward the base. Add another spoonful of
filling and spread it among the central inner leaves. Repeat with the remaining
artichokes. Season the inside of the artichokes with salt and pepper.
Carefully place the artichokes among the white-hot coals, keeping them
upright. Grill for 8–10 minutes, turning occasionally and cooking in batches if
necessary. To test whether they are cooked, hold an artichoke with a pair of tongs.
Insert the tip of small sharp knife into the base just above the stem. It should be
soft. If not, cook for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat. Cool slightly.
Have some extra virgin olive oil and the lemon wedges ready. Pull off and
discard the blackened outside leaves. Pour a little extra virgin olive oil into
the center and squeeze with lemon. Peel off and eat the inner leaves. The soft,
pale center can be eaten in a couple of mouthfuls, stalks and all.

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