This post is the first of a series highlighting seasonal ingredients that feature prominently in Syrian cooking. I am thrilled that the inaugural episode focuses on the artichoke, one of my favorite vegetables for its alluring, challenging qualities.
And that's on a good day. On a bad day, artichokes are painfully difficult to prepare well comprehensively and annoying to eat. But every day they are oh-so-satisfying.
Incidentally, although most people associate artichokes with Israel, (i.e., Jerusalem artichokes), Italy actually leads the globe in production. But their choice species is typically the small, purple artichoke not the larger, green variety favored in the Middle East.
Later this week, I will feature one of my favorite Syrian recipes featuring artichokes. For now, a simple, almost fool-proof method of roasting the full flowers.
4 large artichokes
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic