Carciofi Trifolati (Sautéed Artichokes)

Carciofi trifolati (Sautéed Artichokes)

In contorno, Spring by Frank15 Comments

The trifolati technique is one we’ve seen before on this blog. And although it is probably most often associated with mushrooms, you can make many different non-leafy vegetables using the same basic technique: slice it and sauté it in garlic and oil, and season with salt, pepper and finely chopped parsley. That’s all there is to it. It’s just about the simplest way of preparing vegetable side dishes and, to my mind, one of the best, because it has a way of bringing out the natural flavor of your main ingredient so it really shines. Sautéed artichokes are particularly nice made this way and they make a perfect complement to roast lamb for Easter Sunday dinner.

Harder vegetables like artichokes can be made using the trifolati technique, but they need a bit of help in the form of a short braise in a covered pan with a bit of water or white wine to soften them up. But otherwise, the recipe is just the same:

Ingredients

Serves 4-5 as a side dish
  • 500g (1 lb.) of artichokes, trimmed and sliced into wedges (see Notes)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions

Begin, as usual with a soffritto: sauté the garlic gently in a generous amount of olive oil until it just begins to brown. Remove the garlic from the skillet and add your artichoke wedges. Increase the heat a bit and toss the artichokes in the seasoned oil for a few minutes without browning.

Add a splash of water (not a lot) and cover the skillet. Let the artichokes simmer until they are tender but not coming apart. Cooking time will vary according to the size, age and quality of your artichokes, and how thin your wedges are, but normally somewhere between 10-20 minutes will do.

Uncover the skillet, raise the heat, and season generously with salt and pepper, tossing the wedges to season them evenly. Then, at the last, add your parsley, give the skillet another toss, and serve immediately.

Notes

The only real tricky part of this recipe is the trimming of the artichokes, which can take some time and skill—although it actually becomes quite easy once you get the hang of it. In the markets of Rome, friendly vendors will trim artichokes for you, but here in the States you’ll usually have to do this yourself.

The Italian way of trimming artichokes can be a bit surprising to the uninitiated, as you take so much off the vegetable. To some, it can seem like a ‘waste’. But the idea is to reduce the artichoke down to its edible parts, but you are still left with the tender inner leaves, so it’s not quite a matter of eating only the hearts. Here’s a good video tutorial featuring the genial Lidia Bastianich to show you how:

You can use any kind of artichoke for this dish. Obviously, large artichokes will take longer to cook than the smaller ones. The photo above shows smaller artichokes cut into quarters, but if you like you can cut them into eighths or, for large artichokes, even more finely.

Sautéed artichokes make for a superb contorno, but they also make a great filling for frittata and, if cut finely, can also be used to dress pasta.

As I’ve mentioned before, the same basic trifolati technique that you use for sautéed artichokes, when applied to leafy vegetables, takes on a name, either ripassati in padella or just in padella (in the skillet).

Carciofi trifolati (Sautéed Artichokes)

Rating: 51

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 500g (1 lb.) of artichokes, trimmed and sliced into wedges (see Notes)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Begin, as usual with a soffritto: sauté the garlic gently in a generous amount of olive oil until it just begins to brown. Remove the garlic from the skillet and add your artichoke wedges. Increase the heat a bit and toss the artichokes in the seasoned oil for a few minutes without browning.
  2. Add a splash of water (not a lot) and cover the skillet. Let the artichokes simmer until they are tender but not coming apart. Cooking time will vary according to the size, age and quality of your artichokes, and how thin your wedges are, but normally somewhere between 10-20 minutes will do.
  3. Uncover the skillet, raise the heat, and season generously with salt and pepper, tossing the wedges to season them evenly. Then, at the last, add your parsley, give the skillet another toss, and serve immediately.
http://memoriediangelina.com/2011/04/22/carcioli-trifolati/

Comments

  1. @Manuela: Yes, I love zucchine made this way… IF they are nice and young and tender, they're wonderful!

    @Cupcakes: Ciao! Tante grazie della visita e benvenuta! Ho visitato il tuo blog, è bellissimo !:)

    @Simona: I totally agree!

  2. I also like carciofi trifolati (and also funghi, zucchine, melanzane…). And indeed, carciofi make a great frittata, probably the best frittata.

  3. Ohhh my mom makes these all the time back in Italy! I love all vegetables “trifolati”… have you tried zucchini? Yum! 🙂

  4. @Claudia: Hope you had a lovely Easter. I certainly did!

    @Jill: Good for you! They are not nearly a difficult as is often made out and, as with anything else, it gets easier and easier the more you do it.

    @Shawna and Davide: Couldn't agree more!

    @Emily @German @Chris: Thanks for stopping by and your kind comments!

  5. You know, I adore artichokes but I'm lazy and hate preparing them. Don't know why since it's not difficult. You've given me inspiration again, though, to get my finger out and just do it. Will get them next time at the market since your photo is just too enticing!

  6. I came home with six baby artichokes – because I couldn't resist and you know – I needed another dish to cook for Easter. And I will be doing this. Buona Pasqua. May it be a lovely table with those you cherish.

  7. @Ciao Chow Linda: You know, I'm usually very frugal but I've always thrown out those scraps. Great idea!

    @Spicie Foodie: Thanks for stopping by and Happy Easter to you and yours as well!

    @Drick: Happy Easter to you and yours as well, Drick!

  8. oh yes Frank, I agree with you, nothing better than simple side dishes, those are the most comforting ones appealing to us… this one especially… Happy weekend, Happy Easter and blessings to you and your family

  9. I couldn't agree more on the trifolati technique. Thanks for posting the video too. I learned so much, I'm not so familiar with cooking with artichokes. Have a happy Easter.

  10. Artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables and boy do the Romans know a thing or two about them. You're so right about what seems like a lot of waste when you're trimming them, but those trimmings make a wonderful vegetable broth to use in soups or risotti.

Leave a Comment