Sicilian Baked Artichokes, or Caccioli 'nto Tianu: Mike wrote: "I am desperately trying to find a recipe for an appetizer I had at a restaurant many years ago. It was a baked artichoke, stuffed with a filling of bread, olive oil, garlic, black olives, capers and who knows what else! It was served upright on a plate, with the oil and juice from the choke collecting at the base. Do you know of anything like what I described? Any help will be appreciated!"
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 85 minutes
2 ounces (weight; 50 g, or 1/8 pound) onions, minced
1/2 cup (50 g) bread crumbs
3 cloves garlic, minced
A bunch of parsley, minced
6 salted anchovy filets, rinsed and boned
Olive oil, salt, and pepper
Grated pecorino (optional, and purists omit it)
The juice of a lemon
This sounds South Italian, and Pino Correnti has a recipe that is quite similar in his fascinating book, Il Grande Libro D'Oro della Cucina e Dei Vini di Sicilia. He doesn't say haw many it serves, but with 12 artichokes one can expect to serve six or more.
Remove and discard the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, then trim their points, cut the bases off flat, and put them to soak in salted water to which you have added the lemon juice for about an hour; while they're soaking trim away the ridged "bark" of the stems, cut them into inch-long pieces, and add them to the artichokes.
Mince the other ingredients that need it, and combine them all in a bowl, seasoning the filling to taste with salt.
Drain the artichokes, spread the petals with your fingers, and slip the filling between the petals with the aid of a spoon. Set the stuffed artichokes in a pan, put the pieces of stem between them, drizzle well with olive oil, and add enough cold water to reach half way up the artichokes. Dust with more salt and pepper to taste, set the pan over a medium flame, and simmer the artichokes for about an hour, adding a little more water to the pan if need be to keep them from drying out.