Those who prefer a more contemporary approach should head to the quiet residential neighbourhood of Monteverde, which is the trendiest food hub these days. Roberto Campitelli and Fabio Tenderini from Osteria di Monteverde were able to revisit the tradition with some pretty remarkable results. Roberto’s carciofo alla giudia sits on the plate like a blooming flower, floating on the most delicious cream of pecorino cheese and saffron. Artichokes are scattered everywhere in their menu, from a tasty combination with a pil-pil-style black cod to a mouthwatering sweet version on top of a tortino al cioccolato extra fondente with red berries.
RIGHT IN SEASON – The secret to sampling them at their very best is, of course, to try them when they are right in season. “That, of course, can vary from one year to the next, according to the weather, which is more and more unpredictable these days,” says Daniele Mari, from Azienda Agricola Mari, a well-known artichoke producer in the coastal town of Ladispoli. “The first ones start to show up on Roman tables at the end of January and are usually from Sardinia. The next ones are from the south of Italy – usually Puglia or Sicily. Finally, by the end of February or beginning of March, round globe Roman artichokes are harvested.”