With bank holidays a plenty this August, why not try this delicious starter with your guests.
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 artichokes, trimmed artichokes (1 1/2 lbs.), sliced thinly
- 0.75 cup ricotta
- 5 slices ciabatta bread, toasted and cut in half diagonally
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- To trim artichokes, snap off thick green outer leaves (about half of them; be ruthless) down to the yellowish core. Halve artichoke crosswise; discard thorny tips. Trim stem to about 1/2 in. and use a vegetable peeler to remove tough outer skin from remaining stem. Halve artichoke lengthwise; use a spoon or the point of a knife to scoop out fuzzy, red-tipped choke. As you work, put trimmed artichokes in cold water mixed with a little lemon juice to prevent oxidation. Set aside until you're ready to cook.
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook artichoke slices, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.
- Put toasts on a plate and spread each with ricotta, dividing it evenly. Sprinkle with pepper and zest. Spoon some artichokes onto each slice and top with a bit of basil.