Carciofi al forno

One of my absolutely FAVOURITE things to eat while I was living in Milan was carciofi al forno con mozzarella di buffalo e prosciutto (and probably the only thing I could say in Italian). This simple dish of baked artichoke, mozzarella and Parma ham was the most sublime combo. Obviously here, that would cost an arm and a leg BUT I happen to have a garden with artichoke plants and it happens to be artichoke season. So below is, in my opinion, the only way to eat these beauties:

Ingredients:
1 Whole Artichoke
Several peeled and bruised whole garlic gloves
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season

Method: 
1. Peel the outer leaves off the artichoke, cut the stem off and then cut the top of the artichoke (so that the leaves are flush with the hairy centre bit). Wash
2. Take the bruised garlic (this means squished with the flat side of your knife) and stuff it, as far down as you can, at regular intervals between the leaves.
3. Season with the salt and pepper.
4. Pour about half a lemon’s worth of juice over the top of the artichoke (allowing it to dissolve the salt and pepper)
5. Cover the whole thin in tin foil (I tend to make a little pocket so that it can steam). And bake at 180 °C for half an hour.
6. Serve. To ensure the utmost enjoyment – eat with your hands!

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