BIG TONI’S ITALIAN KITCHEN

Braised small purple artichokes

If you are lucky enough to find these small purple artichokes in your local market or greengrocer in spring or early summer buy them.

They are a little fiddly to prepare but well worth the effort. and once prepared they are easy to cook and can be eaten warm or cold so you can make them in advance and enjoy them with a glass of white wine in the sun.

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For 4 to 6 people you will need:

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  •     12 small purple or violet artichokes
  •     4 cloves of garlic peeled keep whole
  •     8 tablespoons olive oil
  •     1 unwaxed lemon
  •     Sea Salt
  •     Freshly ground black pepper
  •      1 glass of dry white wine
  •     A hand full of spinach (or if you must one of the small bags from the     supermarket.)

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How to make:

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Pop your prepared artichokes into a frying pan with the olive oil and garlic salt and pepper cook on highish heat for 10 minuets until they start to colour around the edges.

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Pour your glass of white wine over the artichokes and cover loosely, you still want a little steam to escape.

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After 20 to 25 minuets the wine would have evaporated and the artichokes will be tender, test with a knife at the last minuet toss in your spinach and cook until it wilts check seasoning and serve.

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The hardest part of this dish is the preparation of the artichokes below is a fairly detailed description of how to do this.

Award winning olive oil

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A few weeks ago I was sent some Extra Virgin cold pressed olive oil from Tuscany, and OMG what a Great Olive Oil.

It is a completely different taste experience from the supermarket oil I normally buy. It has a wonderful  herby aroma, Artichoke and cut grass with a slight sweet after taste. 

I would not suggest you use it for everyday cooking (it’s too good for that) but for dressings and drizzles it will add depth and weight to a dish something 99% of own brand oil cannot hope to achieve.

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Its not cheap but you don’t need to use a lot so it will go along way. The producers have asked me if  I would like to recommend it on the blog and I said yes.

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It costs about £20 per bottle plus delivery but it’s worth it. They sell it in 4 bottle lots, it’s better value to buy four bottles as the postage is cheaper but you can always get together with a friend and divide the bottles up.

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If you want to order some go to the producers website they will be happy to send you the Award winning oil.

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https://www.ormaevinae.com

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NEWS

ELLEIVÆ Biologico Extra Virgin Olive Oil received GOLD award in 2018 New York International Oil Competition 

Well done!

Why not try it yourself?

https://www.ormaevinae.com

Remove the hard outer petals of the artichoke, you will see a change of colour and a slightly softer texture when you get to the keepers.

Cut the top of the petals off the bulb removing the tough tops.

With a sharp knife or potato peeler  peel the stem and rough area below where the petals have been removed. Trim the bottom of the stem and cut in half.

Put the prepared artichokes into a bowl of water which has had half a lemon squeezed into it. This prevents the artichokes for turning brown. You can also rub lemon onto the artichokes as you work with them.

Put the prepared drained artichokes into a frying pan with the oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I even keep the lemon in with them.

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