Baby Artichokes with Mozzarella

Carciofini con Mozzarella

Serves 1 (easily increases proportionately)

Ingredients 

3 fresh baby artichokes 

2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley 

1 whole clove of garlic 

3 tablespoons of olive oil 

1 salted anchovy fillet, finely chopped. 

100 ml  of dry white wine 

1 small bunch of frizzy endive lettuce, for garnish. 

 1 fresh buffalo mozzarella, thickly sliced

1 lemon

Freshly-ground salt & pepper to taste 

Method 

1. Prepare the baby artichokes by removing the outer leaves. Peel the outer layer of the stalk with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. 

Cut the purple top off the artichoke. 

2. Immediately place the artichokes in cold water with a good squeeze of lemon to prevent them from going brown, until ready to use. 

3. In a small saucepan (off the heat) add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the whole clove of garlic, with a slice halfway through the garlic clove (but not cutting it in half completely), finely-chopped parsley, finely-chopped anchovy and artichokes. Add the white wine, pepper and maybe a little salt to taste (but not much as anchovies are salty).

4. Then cover with a cartouche (a lid made of parchment/baking paper) with a small hole in the middle to fit over the ingredients in the saucepan. 

5. Cook, with the cartouche, on medium/low heat until the artichokes are just tender (check with a sharp knife by gently piercing the artichoke). 

6. Remove the cartouche and add a splash of white wine and a little olive oil. Sauté for 1 minute, or until the sauce is slightly reduced. 

7. Place the artichokes on a plate and arrange thick slices of the fresh buffalo mozzarella around them. Remove the garlic, then drizzle the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with parsley, season with salt and pepper and top with a sprig of frizzy endive for garnish. 

"This is a perfect marriage between north and south – good fresh buffalo mozzarella from Napoli, and fresh baby violet artichokes from the Veneto."