There's an Italian saying that labels a crabby person 'prickly as an artichoke'. No one knows it better than the Carciofai of Campo dei Fiori, the artichoke vendors of Rome's outdoor produce market. These brave souls take on bushels of thorny artichokes, whittling them down to size in record time & ridding the globes of tough, inedible leaves and a stifling inner choke. A quick rub of lemon, bagged they go and ready for lucky shoppers to enjoy without a trace of attitude. Now that's convenience food!

 
UPCOMING COOKING CLASSES
JULY 25, 2014
Summertime in Tuscany
RELISH CULINARY HEALDSBURG
AUGUST 26, 2014
Italian Taste of the Sun
DRAEGER'S COOKING SCHOOLS
AUGUST 28, 2014
Italian Taste of the Sun
DRAEGER'S COOKING SCHOOLS
JUNE 10, 2014
SEPTEMBER 14, 2014
Sweet Italian September
RELISH CULINARY HEALDSBURG
 

Maurice Chevalier may have loved Paris in the springtime, but my favorite place in this glorious season is Rome. The annual rebirth of nature transforms into a vibrant awakening of the senses and, as always, good food is at the heart of the matter. There's no better place to enjoy the true art of seasonal cooking than in the eternal city.


DEBORAH'S YOU TUBE CHANNEL
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Roman cuisine celebrates Primavera more joyfully than any other Italian region in what seems to be a declaration of love for fresh Spring ingredients.  The excitement starts in Campo dei Fiori, Rome's main outdoor market, abuzz with chatter about the finest primizie or first garden offerings of the season: sweet-as-candy peas, tender fava beans eaten straight out of their pods, crisp green asparagus stalks and the stars of the Cucina Romana, globe artichokes.


IL CARCIOFO:
Rome
's Star Ingredient

 


il Carciofo
, or Artichoke, is the beloved vegetable of Roman cooking. The globe variety, called Mammole, is served whole or sliced in highly anticipated braised, sauteed or fried antipasti, first courses, main and side dishes. A traditional Roman favorite is Carciofi alla Giudia, or Jewish Style Artichokes, which are fried until their petaled heads spread open until their leaves crisp into splayed bronze sunflowers.
Simply delizioso!


 

These bountiful offerings from Mamma Natura are reverently honored in Rome’s exclusive traditional dishes of Carciofi alla Romana, melt-in-your-mouth anise hinted globe artichokes braised stem up and infused with garlic and fresh mint RECIPE; la Vignarola, a delicate savory stew of sweet peas, fava beans and artichokes; Involtini di Manzo con Piselli, fork-tender beef rolls filled with carrots, celery and slow cooked with wine...delectable examples of how to capture the freshness of Springtime flavors and textures in a mouthful. Buon appetito!
                          
Deborah