I’d never heard of this recipe until my husband mentioned eating artichokes baked with the aid of a brick in a restaurant in Rome (“Evangelista” in Via delle Zoccolette). Artichokes being ‘the’ vegetable of choice around the Easter period, I decided I would give the brick method a go. You really can’t wrong with artichokes, whichever way you cook them.
The first thing to do is turn the oven on at a high temperature, 250°C., and place two bricks inside — to get them all fired up. Then proceed to trim the artichokes.
Turn the heat on. Sauté the artichokes for a few minutes and then add about 1 cup of water. In the above photo, I have just added the water and you can see the steam.
Cover the artichokes and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes until they are tender. Check every now and then that there is enough liquid in the pan. When the artichokes are cooked, remove from the pan and set aside and discard the cooking water.
Get out a roasting pan and cover with parchment paper.
Place the artichokes weighed down with the bricks in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes.
I’m not sure this is exactly how carciofi al mattone are supposed to be cooked but they were nice enough to eat and so, as experiments go, I would give myself 10 out of 10 for effort.