A variety of Romanesco artichokes, the carciofi di Paestum are renowned for their small, compact heads, lovely purple hue, and thornless stems. They’re perfect for snacking right out of the jar, paired with salumi and cheeses for an expert aperitivo spread. Maida grilled artichokes are also excellent chopped up and tossed into pasta dishes or into a big fresh insalatone; Francesco’s son Fabrizio recommends escarole, tomatoes, boiled potatoes and black olives.
Versatile and chock full of vitamins and minerals, few vegetables inspire passionate allegiance quite like the enigmatic artichoke. These artichokes also inspire an annual festival - the Festa del Carciofo di Paestum - where visitors flock to this tiny town in Campania to enjoy artichoke tarts, artichoke lasagne, artichoke parmigiana, artichoke pizza, artichoke pasta, deep-fried artichokes...you get the picture.
We can’t all make it to Campania every spring, but carciofi di Paestum can be the stars of your next dinner party!