In Italy seasonal eating is still the normal way of things and now is the time for artichokes.
Not all vegetables have their own hashtag but artichokes do! Check out #carciofogram and you will see them piled in pyramids and expertly cleaned by market stall holders.
We have called this composition a carpaccio in reference to how thinly the artichokes must be sliced. The original beef carpaccio was invented in 1950 by Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice. It was created to satisfy the dietary requirements of a Venetian countess and named after the painter Carpaccio.
But back to the artichokes…
These worthy veggies contain more protein than any other vegetable (a whopping 3.5 grams per serving) and other important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A. iron, potassium and antioxidants. They also contain inulin, a unique form of fiber which helps mineral absorption and digestion and has important prebiotic characteristics which are important for gut health.
Parmigiano Reggiano is lactose free, high in protein rich in vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, and other antioxidants and minerals that are great for health. Authentic Parmigiano Reggiano adds a savory umami flavor and is both a health win and a culinary win.
To make our Carpaccio di Carciofi, get the freshest artichoke you can find and peel off the outer leaves. We love to use the Carciofo Violetto della Toscana variety, most suited for raw consumption.
Slice as finely as possible and place in a bowl. If your artichokes are not garden-picked, consider adding lemon juice to the water to prevent oxidation. If the artichokes are really fresh, lemon juice is not necessary. It is better to avoid this addition so as not to overpower or mask the other flavors.
Add flakes of aged Parmigiano Reggiano (24 months or more), fresh parsley and oregano and a twist of black pepper. Last but not least, a generous pour of our Blend Delicato. This is the perfect oil to complete this dish. Its delicate herbaceous flavours and pleasant notes of dried almonds enhance and elevate the artichokes and fresh herbs.
Serve immediately and enjoy this most seasonal of salads.
If the preparation seems too intense, remember that you can enjoy the quartered raw artichokes “in pinzimonio” - simply dunked into a small bowl containing Blend Delicato and salt.