Artichoke lovers, you will adore this recipe. Tender boiled artichokes baked in an egg, Parmigiano and milk batter and dotted with mozzarella. Perfect for Spring picnics!
This recipe reminds me so much of my mother that I can hardly bring myself to write about it. It brings good, happy memories as this was one of her favorite dishes for picnics. Yes, other people had sandwiches and salads, we had lasagne, eggplant parmesan and sformato di carciofi. We also had a small folding table with a miniature table-cloth and real fork and knives, no plastic. So we lived in the ’70, eating wonderful food under the spring sun.
- 8 artichokes
- 6 eggs
- 100 gr (3 ounces) grated Parmigiano cheese
- 200 gr (7 ounces) mozzarella or cow’s milk caciotta thinly sliced
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 lemon
Put a large pan of water on the fire, squeeze the juice of the lemon in the water and add the squeezed lemon to it. This prevents the artichokes turning a scary turquoise color while cooking. Rinse artichokes and drop in the boiling water. Cook for 20 min or until one of the central leaves come away with a little give. Drain and cool. Pull away the outer tough leaves, peel and trim stems, and cut away the choke if there is any. Quarter artichokes and then cut quarters in half again.
Beat the eggs with the Parmesan and season. Butter a bundt-pan generously, then dust with the bread crumbs, knocking out the excess. Now build up the sformato (timbale) in the pan by layering artichokes and cheese ending with artichokes. Pour the egg and cheese mixture, sprinkle with an extra tablespoon or two of Parmesan and bake at 200 °C (390 °F) until set and golden.
Serves 8 as an appetizer, 6 as a vegetarian main. Serve at room temperature.
PS: Should you not have access to fresh artichokes, my friend Jack who lives in Southern California, recommends T.J. artichokes canned in water which he uses to make my artichoke sformato with quite splendid results.