A purple artichoke, meaty and tender: the pleasure of all pleasures to be savored raw
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing argued that “the expectation of pleasure is the pleasure itself”.
The castraura (the first artichoke to appear) is cut in advance to allow the plant to develop other 18-20 artichokes called botoli, delicious but not as prestigious as their brother. They grow a little all over the lagoon (Vignole, Lio Piccolo, Malamocco, Mazzorbo), but the best come along with the island of St. Erasmus, the old orchard of Venice, whose vegetables are fed in part by a sandy soil, chalky in part, represent the best that you can enjoy every morning at the Rialto market.
Already at the end of the seventeenth century, as well as the website informs us of the merit of violet artichoke Sant'Erasmo Consortium, an association of 10 farms that protect and promote the Slow Food, the famous cartographer Vincenzo Maria Coronelli Franciscan spoke enthusiastically of this long island 4 km wide and 500 to 900 meters, "between the barrier islands which make the Lagoon of Venice, is one of Sant'Erasmo with beautiful gardens and vineyards, from 'which is given to the Metropolis amount of vegetables and fruits perfect ... ".
The visitor will be surprised by the scents, the silences, the order of the crops, that same "perfection" sung by Coronelli, still very enjoyable for the price of a ticket, by boat.
Returning to our artichokes, they are beautiful in every preparation: their slight bitter scent can enhance an omelet, a risotto. Fried ones are great as long as you lick your fingers. But raw, cut very thin, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper are the delight of delights. Leaving aside the pleasure of waiting.
6 violet artichokes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup quality Parmesan cheese, grated