This is a traditional Roman (Italian) dish which can be severved as appetizer or as a side dish.
Now, that we are approaching the spring and in southern Countries the spring is already there, artichokes appear in the shops and I really don’t want to miss them!
The kind used for this preparation is called “Mammole”, they are quite big sized artichokes and the leaves are rounded shaped.
The mint used for this dish is usually the “mentuccia romana”, in my case I used Turkish mint in my garden, from which I can find some leaves even in winter. I think that the Greek mint (diosmos) would fit also perfectly; for this preparation I would avoid pepper mint, chocolate mint or mint kinds intended for drinks or cocktails. Spearmint would be good as well.
I prepared 3 artichokes, but give you the recipe for 4 of them.
In a small bowl combine the herbs and the garlic, add ½-teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
To clean the artichokes prepare some lemony water (using the juice of half lemon) and rub your and with some lemon as well in order to prevent blackening.
Remove the outside leaves which appear woody and without pulp. Peal the stem and cut it but leave a small piece. If the remaining stems appears soft, do not discard them, but add it to the preparation.
Cut the top of the artichokes (depending on the size, about 4 cm). Open the center of the artichokes and remove the filaments with spoon, a knife or better with the vegetable carving instrument. Place the artichokes in the lemony water; this will prevent them from darkening.
Open the artichokes with your fingers and stuff them with the prepared herbs mixture.
Place the artichokes head side down in pot where they can fit tightly. Add the stems.
Pour the remaining olive oil and the water.
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, open the lid and let reduce the liquid.
The Leckerli (or Läckerli are Gingered bread form Basel) was invented more than 500 years go at the time of the Basel Council (1431 to 1449) to be served at the assembled church dignitaries. These turned out famous and soon they turned became a world famous pastry: a rectangular piece of ginger bread, glazed with sugar, made from honey, sugar, flour, candied fruit, nuts and kirsch.
This variation is quite easy and the result is amazing.
Impress your friend serving these delish served with a cup of tea or coffee.
Prepare these savory small breads in advance and freeze them. You will need only 2 minutes in a preheated oven and you have something special to serve as appetizer, as side for a meal or simply for a snack. They will be very much appreciated!
Variation: Add some oregano to the dough or top the swirls with sesame seeds
100 g sourdough starter (or 50 g water + 50 g flour + 1/4 teaspoon dried yeast)
1 cups water
2 cups white flour
1 cups black flour or any whole kind of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
Olive oil (optional)
The evening before combine well the starter, water, flours and salt. Knead about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place overnight.
The next morning the dough should have risen, stretch it to a rectangle of about 50 to 30 cm on a well-floured surface.
Distribute the olives on the dough leaving 5 cm of the long border free. Roll it so that you get a long (50 cm) roll and slice it into 2 cm think swirls. Place the pieces on a baking tray. Brush with olive oil if you like.
Let rise again in a warm place (this took me about 1 hour, but it depends on the temperature and the kind of yeast).
Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
In my life I have prepared nachos only once ( Nachos de Camarones) and my family asked me to make some more.
This special wish came perfect with the given list of ingredients I for the game “ready set cook” as tortilla and chicken were among the options.
The combination were done quite quickly and the result delicious.
I did not add cheese (as not in the list J ), and exactly had been appreciated as the dish resulted lighter; I think I would have added some cumin, but all spice was a great alternative and finally the addition of the thick yogurt made the dish fresher!
I recommend not adding too much salt, as the chips are usually salted; adapt the quantity to the chips!
This kind of flatbread is a very popular street food from the Italian region called “Emilia-Romagna” but now you can find it not only in Italy but in many other countries.
The original piadina is non-fermented bread prepared with lard, but in this version we will use the sourdough starter (perfect if you need to refresh it) and I will use olive oil instead of animal fat.
I can remember the piadine as streed food, filled with thin slices of prosciutto crudo or with cheese.
Today you may find all kind of piadinas, filled with many different ingredients but the most important thing is to enjoy it still warm, soft inside and crunchy outside.
My filling this time? Smoked salmon with a fresh guacamole sauce with chopped tomatoes. So good!
Italian Flat Bread with Sourdough Starter – Piadina al Licoli
Dissolve the sourdough with the water, add flour add the other ingredients and knead well until combined and it comes together (use a kneading machine if you have it!). If necessary add a few more tablespoons water.
Wrap with foil or cover with a bowl and lest rest at least 60 minutes.
Cut into 6-8 slices and shape them into balls, place them on floured surface, cover with an inverted big bowl and let rise until when almost doubled.
Roll out each ball to rounds of about 25 cm (10 inches). You will not need flour on the table.
Put the rolled out piadine on a tray using parchment foil to separate them. Or prepare them one by one cooking them just after rolling each one out. Pinch each one with the fork all over the surface before cooking them.
Now heat up your non-stick skillet to medium high. Don’t add any kind of oil or fat!
Bake dry on the first side, when well roasted, flip it and bake the other side. The piadina should be pale, but with dark brown spots. Be careful not to burn it. During baking if necessary pinch them and turn them with the fork. In about 3-4 minutes they should be ready.
Tip: I have two old nonstick pans that I reserved for this recipe or to roast nuts. I use both at the same time!