Skip to content

Artichokes Alla Polita ©

March 10, 2013




This is my most favorite dish of all!
Artichoke lovers will agree with me…..
The secret is though, to peel to the heart……
Another wonderful Greek recipe…..
The beginning of Lent is just over a week away.
I have posted this before, but it is the time of year to post again as a reminder of the delicious recipes tucked away with in this blog!

For those that love Globe Artichokes.

This recipe is for the “Diligent Cook! “




6 Persons




12 “Globe” Artichokes

12 Spring onions sliced

10 small potatoes turned

6 med sized carrots turned

1 bunch Fennel, stalks chopped separately

Juice of 3 lemons

2-3 tbs olive oil

Salt Pepper


Artichoke Soaking Water

1 large basin of warm water

4 tsp salt

Juice of 4 lemons

2 tbs Flour



From your local Market choose fresh plump firm and closed “Globe” Artichokes. Feel them for firmness, insist on the closed leaved ones and test freshness by swaying the artichokes from the stalk! March in Greece is the best month to find good artichokes at the market, later on they become woody. You need to find the ‘Large’ kind, not the smaller Purple ones, used in “Artichokes alla Romana”

1. Prepare the “Artichoke Soaking Water”, by filling a basin with water and adding the above ingredients.

2. Next peel and ‘turn’ your carrots and potatoes into 2-3 cm oblongs or rounds. Wash and trim the spring onions and Fennel. Leave to soak briefly in cold salted water.

3. Lastly peel your artichokes. Take the leaves off one by one, until the leaves are completely yellow in color and tender.Now cut top off artichoke, along the line of indentation, as in the picture. This is important, as the artichoke hearts are what we are aiming for and should melt in the mouth. So don’t feel you are waisting the artichokes by discarding so many leaves.There is nothing worse than chewy artichokes, the hearts should melt in the mouth!

4. With a sharp serrated knife, trim away the green outer layer around the base of the artichoke and cut back the long stalks to leave only 2 cm. The final result should be all pale yellow in color.

5. Using a sharp pointed knife initially and then with the aid of a sharp tea-spoon cut away the “choke”, leaving the center of the artichoke hollow. This part which remains is called the ” heart.”

All this process is quite labour intensive, but totally worth the trouble!

6. As you finish each artichoke, rub thoroughly with a half cut lemon, squeezing the artichoke with lemon juice at the same time. This prevents the artichoke from going black.

7.In a wide based saucepan, add olive oil, sliced spring onions, ( Only the white parts ) and only the stalks of the fennel finely chopped. Reserve the leaves in water, for later.

8. Saute for 2 minutes and then add your ‘turned’ vegetables, ( Potatoes and Carrots.) Saute over a medium heat for another 2 minutes. On no account let the vegetables brown at any time.

9. Add boiling water to cover carrots, see photograph and with the lid on, leave to gently simmer until tender, 15-20 minutes. Test with the point of a sharp knife for readiness.

10. Remove vegetables, leaving the liquid in the saucepan and keep warm in a covered dish.

11. Now add your artichokes, ( reserve soaking water,) cover with GPP and seal with lid. The paper also helps them from becoming discolored.

12. Boil on med-heat, checking and shaking the pan, to make sure they are not sticking. You may need to add a little of the “Soaking Water” during cooking.

13. After 1/2 an hour, test with a knife for tenderness and if nice and soft, turn heat off.

14. Add vegetables to saucepan carefully and heat through just before serving on a very low heat. Check sauce for seasoning and lemon juice. It should be really tasty.

15. Arrange on warmed serving dish and sprinkle with finely chopped fennel, just before serving.

N.B. Should you be keeping the artichokes warm in the oven while eating the first course, have the oven very low, 50.C, you don’t want the oil in the sauce to separate out.

New Cooking Term : To ‘Turn’ vegetables, is to peel them and then shape them with a sharp knife into mouth sized smooth oblongs or rounds.

Meaning :” Choke” is the centre hard fibrous part of the artichoke.

I am so happy to have this traditional Greek recipe recorded for my family and you all!




Choose round firm closed leaved artichokes.

Remove leaves until you reach the yellow leaves.

Having reached the yellow leaves, cut off about half the artichoke with a serrated knife.

It should end up looking like this. remove green outer shell of stalk too using your sharp knife.

Now remove “Choke” with a sharp knife and tea spoon, leaving the inside empty.

Rub immediately with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Place artichokes in soaking water so that they do not discolor.

Turn vegetables, chop spring onions and fennel stalks. Reserve leaves.

Spring onions chopped.

Reserve fennel leaves in water.

Saute fennel stalks and spring onions in olive oil.

Add vegetables and saute for five minutes.

Add enough water to almost cover vegetables.Season and simmer until cooked, 15-20 minutes. Test with

tip of knife.

Remove from saucepan, leaving liquid.

Add artichoke hearts. Cover with grease-proof paper and lid. This also helps them not become discolored.

Arrange artichokes in center of warmed serving dish. Arrange the vegetables around the artichokes. If you

are not serving straight away, keep warm in oven, covered with grease proof paper. Pour over the sauce just

before serving and sprinkle with chopped fennel leaves.

Final result ! Serve straight away.

This is a unique and delicious vegetarian meal.




No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: