Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sautéed Artichokes- Venetian Style

It all started with a day at the Rialto Market in Venice.  We were traveling with friends, and one of them insisted that we purchase the special artichokes.  They were 10 artichoke bottoms for 8 euros, since they were already trimmed and good sized, I figured  that was a pretty good deal.  However, we had a very limited little kitchenette in our hotel room.  The place we stayed at was perfect for two couples- two bedrooms, two baths, a combined mini living/dining room and a tiny "hall way" kitchen. When our buddy wanted to buy these, I thought we would need to buy too many things... it just isn't going to work.  

But he pressed it... mentioning that there was a bowl of condiment packets in the kitchen.  Yes... there was, the wheels started turning.  
I remembered the olive oil packets (really cool!), lemon juice packets (for tea, I guess) and the usual Nutella, tea bags, creamers, sugars and salt & pepper. 
OKAY!  I think we can do this using some of these items, hahaha.  
At a fruit stand on the way back to the hotel, we had to use pantomime to order the artichokes, then the garlic, but once our veggie guy caught on, he pulled a bunch of Italian parsley up with a grin and a look that said "you need this too!".  Who am I to argue, so I said, "Si".

When we got back to the hotel, I Googled "Venetian Artichokes" and immediately found what I was looking for and we had everything we needed!  I love it when that happens. We had leftover french bread from breakfast and we had just bought some white wine to enjoy for our "happy hour" snack.

Before we get to the recipe, I have to mention the view from our living room as we concocted the artichokes.

Our little apartment hotel (there were no more than 8-9 rooms) had a perfect location on a canal with a couple windows and a wrought iron balcony filled with flowers.  If you are planning a trip to Venice, you should try to stay here!

Right across from our place was the church that Marco Polo is buried in.  That's what the gondola guy is pointing at. 

Beautiful classic motorboats ran up and down the canals, some obviously taxis, but some were personal boats.

Here's another one, I was waiting and waiting for one of the gorgeous all teak boats, but gave up trying to photograph one.

I highly recommend this site if you like Italian food, this is the first recipe I found while searching my little tablet in our hotel/apartment kitchen.  I have used this blog for another recipe with great success too.

My pictures below aren't that clear, but it was a bit dark in that wee kitchen...
I have to give all the credit to my friend Randy, he did all the cooking and chopping, even arranging the ingredients for the photos.  I was merely the photographer and technical advisor.  I was happy to drink wine and shout encouragement.  We had a blast sharing these artichokes right afterwards with the others. 

Serves about 4

8 Large Artichoke Bottoms
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice from Half a Lemon
1 garlic Clove
1 cup white wine
1 cup Water
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the artichoke bottoms.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned, then add the lemon juice, garlic, wine, and water. 

Reduce the heat to low, and cook until the choke bottoms are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.
Spoon a couple of artichokes on each plate, adding a couple spoonfuls of sauce.  Serve at once with some crusty bread.

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