In just over two months time, we will be returning to Umbria for our 2016 season. We love to travel throughout Italy whenever we can fit it into our schedule, and every year we sneak off to Venice for a couple of nights. Venice is a city I know I will never tire of visiting, and one of our favorite experiences is to visit the Venetian baccari bars. These unique bars serve a variety of finger food along with a glass of wine, and we love to roam to two or three different bars for lunch. The food served are called cichetti, and can be anything from fresh seafood specialties like baccala mantecato (whipped salted cod) served on toast points or polenta, a selection of vegetables, along with a myriad of other little bites especially created by each bar.
One of my favorite baccari bars last summer offered this easy artichoke cichetti, and I was amazed at how tasty something so simple to prepare could be. I have made these artichokes a number of times at home, and find they are a great addition to any appetizer platter. I have used frozen and canned artichoke hearts, as well as marinated ones in a jar, and all work well although you need to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. I have also tried frying the artichokes as well as baking them, and both methods work well.
Deborah Mele 2016