Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Artichokes of Venice

Visiting Venice's Rialto mercato is a must-do... Especially if you adore artichokes... Excuse me, 'carciofi'. These mini versions are 'carciofini' in season only in March... A must-eat wherever you go
In Bologna at Tamburini could I resist this salad of artichoke hearts, prosciutto and rocket?
And though my tray was bursting (Tamburini is self-service)
Could I resist the grilled artichokes? Someone is a greedy guts.
Look! An Italian hound is straining at the leash to chomp on those artichokes across the way. Ah a kindred spirit...
An exquisite bit of Fortuny velvet from Venetia Studium would be perfecto to carry your artichoke around in would it not?
Artichokes turn up hither and thither in still life paintings though I've yet to try my hand at them...
They turn up aplenty in Donna Leon's, Brunetti's Cookbook, including snippets from her mystery novels. You can hear her mention artichokes right off the bat in this BBC interview.
I always have a slew of artichokes in the fridge. Simply cut off the tops a bit and the bottom of course, sprinkle with lemon juice and some lemon zest using my much adored new microplane. Then nuke one at a time for 3 1/2 - 4+ minutes depending on the size. Simple but delightful when you're addicted to artichokes.


  1. I loved the Rialto market! I wish I had stayed at a place with a kitchenette so I could have made a yummy seafood feast or tried to make some rabbit or boar. I am going back next summer so I will be try to execute my plan into action.

  2. Carcofi! One of my favorites too! The photos are just beautiful. I've enjoyed all of your Venice post, I've been forwarding to my sister in law who is going in May

  3. What beautiful artichokes! I adore the purple colored leaves. I love artichokes. I make a special dipping sauce with equal parts mayonnaise, and sourcream, and then I add fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon pepper to taste...YUM!! I actually use the Vegan versions, but either way it's delicious! Thanks for posting, I wish I was there.
    Susan : )

  4. Anna-Maria A.1:43 PM

    Artichoke Heaven!
    No wonder the word 'ART' is in artichoke...

  5. They look almost like tulips - almost too pretty to eat!

    (almost, she says...)

  6. Justine2:54 PM

    Merci for the homage to les artichokes!
    From a long time lover of the thorny thistle.
    I love all the long stems in the Italian versions..

  7. Ooh, the thought of a delicious artichoke tucked into the artichoke-shaped bag - how perfect.
    I've really been enjoying your blog. It's such fun...

  8. Aimee3:46 PM

    Thank You for such a delightful treat each day.
    Your water colours & your photography are fantastic.

  9. Ah, si, i carciofi di Venezia (o di Bologna o di Roma)!
    Artichokes in every which way, isn't that like Paradise?

    Next time, you need to go to Rome. The Carciofo alla Giudia (that's an artichoke fried whole) alone is worth the trip!

    In Venice, I visited an outlaying island, where fields of artichoke were abloom (they have beautiful large, lavender colored blooms). Artichokes are a serious affair all around the Venetian Lagoon. I wished I was there right now! Thank you for the memories! :-)

  10. I love all your posts but you have outdone yourself with this really transported me back to Venice for a brief moment and made my mouth water for artichokes of any kind.

    Love the photos and am delighted by the cookbook.

  11. I haven't had an artichoke in a long time - I think that it's time to try some!
    Great photos. You make Venice look so good!
    I love that last shot....

  12. Oh oh oh, I am in love with artichokes and this post!

  13. I'm with Amy (above)...I saw the carciofini & thought they looked like lavender tulips. Very pretty. Lurve carciofi...looking forward to local season...yum.

  14. I LOVE Artichokes. Great post.

  15. Loving your Venetian posts and am a big fan of artichokes, always have a jar in the fridge! Would prefer the fresh ones though. I planted artichokes in the garden some years ago, what beautiful plants, especially when the purple fluffy bits come out at the top of the artichoke when it flowers. Delightful to keep the whole stalk with the artichoke at the top in a vase as an ornament for months afterwards, very pretty indeed and a real talking point with visitors.

  16. my favorite city. my favorite meal spagetti vongula. I have never been to Italy during artichoke season. Lucky you!

  17. I LOVE spegetti a la vongolo too...
    I got the feeling it was artichoke season year-round there somehow or other :)

    I would LOVE to grow my own artichoke....sigh

    Who knew PBers are such artichoke lovers?
    We have lots in common :)

  18. wow beautiful location and colorful recipes .amazing this post and nice your idea . i love it .thanks for nice sharing yummy

  19. OMG, these are beautiful. I had no idea an artichoke could be so colorful and look so gorgeous. you have such an eye (and apparently such good taste buds too). :) Thanks for sharing. Yum. claudia

  20. yuuuuum artichokes! after seeing this post I am now going to buy them for dinner tonight.

    I hear there is a Artichoke place in Rome in the Jewish parts that deep fry them. If you're still around Rome go do it!!

  21. Anonymous12:19 PM

    the second photo is a nice place to start for a painting of artichokes--look at those colors! maybe tulips and artichokes together.

  22. Yum yum yum!!!! I saw the other post and thought I need a dessert and then scrolled down and now I need some past and some artichokes! Wonderful post! (if a bit torturous! :) lol!

  23. BB in India8:56 AM

    What beautiful artichokes!
    I adore the hearts best of all.
    I love artichokes like cRAZY!!

  24. {{ am LONGING
    for a grand
    artichoke for breakfast...
    isn't that plum silly
    and yet

    true }}


Love hearing from you