© David Loftus
cinder-baked artichokes with lemon, bay and prosciutto
Look for the violet, Roman, or even the green Spanish artichokes. Don’t use globe ones as they tend to be large and coarse.
Slice off the top 2cm of the head of the artichoke, then peel the stem with a knife or speed peeler. Tear off the tough outer leaves until you get to the softer inner green ones. Open them out, then use a teaspoon to scrape out the furry chokes and discard. If you’re doing this ahead, put the artichokes in a bowl of water with a little lemon juice to stop them discolouring.
Drizzle the inside of each artichoke with olive oil and season well. Stuff each one with a small lemon wedge, a rolled-up slice of prosciutto and a bay leaf.
Wet 4 sheets of baking paper, then scrunch up and wrap 1 around each artichoke. Now tightly wrap each one in foil and place directly on the edge of the hot coals for about an hour, turning, until tender. If you have a gas barbie, put them at the back where the heat’s not so intense and cook for 1 hour.
Serve unwrapped and broken up with a generous lug of oil and scattered with mint.
• 4 artichokes
• olive oil
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• ˝ a lemon, cut into small wedges
• 4 slices of prosciutto
• 4 fresh bay leaves
• a handful of fresh mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped