This is a classic contorno (side dish) from Rome, which pairs well with any meal but particularly with grilled meat main dishes such as lamb chops. It's traditionally made with mentuccia -- a type of wild mint with a flavor resembling a cross between mint and oregano or parsley (we will use a mixture of mint and oregano or parsley in this recipe, presuming that you do probably not have access to mentuccia, which is difficult to find in many places). Mentuccia is called nepitella in Tuscany.
It's also usually made with large, round and tender mammola artichokes (also known as "Romanesco"). These are called "globe" artichokes in English (see the linked page for a photo of whole, uncooked and untrimmed globe/mammola artichokes). Unfortunately, in the United States and many other places outside of the Mediterranean, the variety of artichokes available is far more limited, and they are usually sold when older and tougher. In Italy, they are sometimes so young and tender that they can be eaten raw. So try to find younger and more tender artichokes (a farmer's market would be a good bet).
- 6 artichokes (tender, stems attached, trimmed of choke, tough outer leaves and tough peel around stems, and with the thorny tips sliced off)
- 1 cup white wine (dry)
- 1 cup olive oil (extra-virgin)
- 1 tablespoon parsley leaves (minced fresh flat-leaf, or minced fresh oregano leaves; to easily separate oregano leaves from the stem, pinch the step near the tip and run your fingers along the stem in the opposite direction of growth)
- 3 tablespoons mint leaves (fresh, minced)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and finely minced)
- Kosher salt and black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
- Fine sea salt (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup olive oil (extra-virgin)
In a small mixing bowl, combine the parsley (or oregano), mint, garlic, salt and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
Stuff each artichoke with 1 tablespoon of this mixture.
Cover the bottom of a large, high-sided, heavy-bottomed pot with a thin layer of the remaining olive oil and place the artichokes on the bottom, flat side down and stem side up.
Add 1 cup of water and the wine, cover the pot, bring the water just to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
To serve, transfer the artichokes to a serving plate and drizzle with some of the cooking liquid/oil. The artichokes can be served hot or at room temperature.