Artichokes with ham

INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PERSONS

  • 6 fresh artichokes
  • 200 g Serrano ham, diced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped parsley, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Cut the artichoke stems and remove all the tough outer leaves. The stem tends to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some people like to eat it; if this is your case, leave it on. Cut only the end of the stem and peel away the tough outer layer with a vegetable peeler.

Cut off the top quarter of the artichoke to get to the heart, and then cut it in half lengthwise.

Wash the artichokes in cold water. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze some of the juice over the artichokes to prevent them from oxidizing.

Meanwhile, put about an inch of water into a large pot with a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon and a bay leaf, which will give the artichokes a wonderful flavour when cooking.

Place a steamer basket inside the pot and add the artichokes, cover the pot and bring the water to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Leaves are cooked to steam for 25 – 45 minutes or until the outer leaves are tender.

If you don’t have steamer basket, you can boil the artichokes in hot water for 20 minutes, or in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes (depending on the size of the artichokes).

Remove the artichokes and put them onto a piece of kitchen paper, squeezing gently to get rid of any excess water.

Heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan and add the ham and artichokes. Let them fry gently for about 10 minutes, until golden.

Serve the artichokes with the ham and add chopped parsley, black pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil.