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Carciofi Morellini

Fantastic All-Around Artichokes

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Carciofi Morellini, Morellino Artichokes

Carciofi Morellini, Morellino Artichokes

© Kyle Phillips, Licensed to About.Com
Artichokes, the immature flowers of a member of the thistle family, are one of the nicest things about winter in Central Italy; they appear with the leaden skies of December and accompany us through the beginning of spring, in April. They come in a tremendous variety of shapes and colors, from tiny delicate ones well suited for being eaten raw in pinzimonio, to purplish green medium-sized ones such as the Morellino artichokes shown here, which are suitable for sautéing, making spaghetti sauce, and whatnot, to Carciofi Romaneschi, large round artichokes ideally suited for stuffing.

No matter which variety you select, you have to do so with care, because a fuzzy choke is a tremendous disappointment. Like a good orange, a good artichoke will feel firm and solid when you pick it up. It shouldn't give if you squeeze it gently, nor should it feel light. If it does, it probably has air (and fuzz) in its heart. Pass it by. Once you have selected your artichokes and gotten them home, stand them in a vase with water until you're ready to use them (they are flowers, after all). If need be you can keep them like this for a day or two, but they tend to toughen with time.

How to Prepare Artichokes and More:
Preparing Artichokes the Italian Way
Tortiglioni Pasta with Artichokes
Gnocchi with Artichokes and Walnuts
Carciofi alla Giudia, Roman Jewish Artichokes
Patate coi Carciofi, Potatoes and Artichokes
Preparing Artichokes (Text Instructions) & Roman Artichokes
Many more Artichoke Recipes

Artichokes Elsewhere on About:
Moroccan Tagine of Fava Beans (Ful) and Artichokes
Artichokes with Creamy Aji Amarillo Sauce
Stewed Artichokes with Olives and Moroccan Spices
Artichoke Gruyere Dip
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