Roman-style artichokes

(Jonathan Levitt for The Boston Globe)
May 4, 2011

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Serves 4

1 bunch fresh mint, leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
5 large artichokes
1 lemon, halved
1 bottle white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)

1. In a small bowl mix together the mint and garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

2. Snap off and discard the tough outer leaves on the artichokes. Leave behind the thick part at the bottom of each leaf. Stop snapping when you get to the pale green, tender inner leaves. Slice off 2 inches from the top of the artichoke. With a paring knife or vegetable peeler, peel the bitter green skin from the stems and base. Trim the stem to 1 inch. Spread the leaves apart and use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out and discard the hairy choke. Rub the artichokes with lemon as you work. Sprinkle the artichokes with the mint mixture.

3. In a large flameproof casserole, arrange the artichokes stem ends up. Pour in the remaining oil and wine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the artichokes are tender when pierced with a knife. Transfer the artichokes to a platter; leave to cool.

4. Turn the heat under the casserole to medium-high. Let the wine mixture simmer steadily until reduced by half. When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, halve them lengthwise. Spoon the wine mixture over them.

Jonathan Levitt