Last night at a little bar in Venice, Italy, we snacked on rounds of artichoke bottoms, soaked in oil and marinated in spices. Tender and cool, they were a lovely start to a meal — flavorful and not too filling. Today I saw how these things are sold: by the half dozen, bobbing in water at the market!
We've all had marinated artichoke hearts, usually chopped into bite-sized wedges. But this was the first time I had seen artichokes prepared this way. Big as saucers, with the meat of the artichoke exposed and ready to eat, these artichoke bottoms make great appetizers, and apparently they are a specialty of Venice. I've seen them here, there, and everywhere — in the groceries and on menus.
They were available at nearly every market stall, soaking in lemon water to keep them from getting browned and discolored.
→ More about fondi di carciofo, including how to prep and cook them: Artichoke Bottoms at The Artichoke Blog.
Do you ever prepare artichokes this way? Or have you eaten them like this, perhaps in Italy?
Related: Cheese & The Artichoke: Cheese Soufflé-Stuffed Artichokes from Martha Stewart
(Images: Faith Durand)