globe artichokes with angelica's sauce recipe

This recipe reminds me of Angelica, the cook in the house my parents used to rent in the Dolomites. I love the whole palaver of artichokes: pulling the leaves off and dipping them into the rich sauce, until you get to the soft heart, which you dunk and eat all in one go.

Serves 6-8

  • 1-2 small artichokes per person
  • Salt
For the sauce
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled and shelled
  • 1 very large bunch of soft green herbs (half flat-leaf parsley and the rest a mixture of chives, fennel, dill and/or coriander, or one of these)
  • 2 tins of anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
  • About 300ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Black pepper

Cook your artichokes in boiling salted water for about 40 minutes. Drain them in the sink, face down, for 5 minutes and, when they've cooled a bit, give each a squeeze to get rid of any remaining water.

You can roughly chop the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor, but you want a coarse texture not a puree, so it's best done by hand. I break up the eggs roughly with the back of a fork and chop the herbs and anchovies with a sharp knife. Mix the whole lot together with the oil and vinegar in a large bowl. You won't need much salt because of the anchovies, but add plenty of pepper.

Give everyone an artichoke on a plate with enough room for a dollop of sauce.

You'll need a large bowl on the table for the discarded leaves (these make great mulch for the garden).