SAUTEED ARTICHOKES WITH HAM
3 quarts water
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
6 medium artichokes
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces cured or smoked ham
6 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
Fill a 4 quart saucepan 3/4's full of water and bring to a simmer. Add vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt.
Cut off the darkened bottom of an artichoke stem, peel it up to the base. Snap off four rows of leaves (1") and cut off the remaining ones close to the choke. Trim off green exterior at the base. Brush the whole artichoke with lemon juice. Continue with the other artichokes, then submerge them in the pan and cook, uncovered, until they are just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the artichokes, then scrape out the bristly choke portion and pare off any remaining leaves. Quarter the chokes leaving stem attached.
Cut the ham into bite-size pieces, removing any fat. Smash the garlic cloves and mince. Heat the olive oil and saute the ham until it starts to brown. Stir in the artichokes for a minute, then the garlic for one minute and finally the tomatoes. Cook and stir until everything is hot. Add black pepper and salt to taste. Serve hot.
Yield: 6 servings
This recipe is adapted from a dish taught by Emilio Gervilla, owner of Emilio's Tapas Bar and Restaurant in Westchester.