Carciofi alla romana – Artichokes the Roman way

Carciofi alla romana
Carciofi alla romana

I love artichokes. In and around Rome there are many ways of cooking artichokes, like in a frittata di carciofi, fried in batter, raw in salads with olive oil and lemon juice, alla giudìa (the Jewish way, ie deep fried without batter), thinly sliced and cooked in a pan…. Unfortunately for a lot of these recipes you need to have  the type of artichoke that is difficult to find in Switzerland. Sometimes I am able to find artichokes here, but they are a little more … hard than the ones I used in Rome.

No worries, I get to eat them the same!

PS I’d like to thank my daughter for the nice pictures!

Carciofi alla romana

Artichokes are a favourite of mine. In Rome they are cooked in many different ways, this is maybe the simplest one and I love it.  The use of boiling water will soften the hard artichokes that I can find here, if you find softer ones to begin with, when you taste them after 10 minutes cooking they might already be done…
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people


  • 12 artichokes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 cups boiling water
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Prepare the artichokes for cleaning. Here in Switzerland – when I can find them – I find them half cleaned at the supermarket.
  • Clean the artichokes by cutting away all the hard leaves and liberating the soft core and put them in a bowl with water. Add the juice of half a lemon, and the juiced lemon. Peel the garlic cloves.
    Artichokes in lemon water
  • Put the olive oil in a pan large enough to put all the artichokes in, add the peeled garlic cloves cut in halves and let the oil fry the garlic. 
    Garlic in oil
  • Add the artichokes to the pan with the leaves down, let fry for a couple of minutes then add 2 cups of boiling water and a pinch of salt, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
    Artichokes in the pan
  • Take out one leaf from an artichoke and taste it, add salt if needed. If it is still hard, add another cup of boiling water and let it simmer for 5 minutes
    Ready! Enjoy!
    Carciofi alla romana






2 responses to “Carciofi alla romana – Artichokes the Roman way”

    • Thanks a lot! In Italy, especially in the center and south regions, they are a favourite… Unfortunately where I live I don’t get the types I like most, but when I travel back to Italy and it is season, I indulge..

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