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Everything you need to know about the Empolese artichoke

Have you ever heard of it? Tell the truth, maybe you don't know him... Yet the Empolese artichoke PAT is on the list of traditional agri-foods in the Tuscany region.

Why Empolese Artichoke?

The name "empolese" is found in some documents of the beginning of the twentieth century ,at the historical moment when the production of the artichoke began to make an appearance on the market and in the area of Empoli and its surroundings there was an important spread.

It is due to the botanist Ottaviano Tozzetti studying and seeking differences with the artichoke "violet": that empolese is free of thorns, has a particularly intense flavor and a very tender consistency.

This vegetable is born in pedo-climate environments, characterized by a flat flooding ground "wet" and thanks to a medium-high temperature, typical of the spring season that lasts until the summer.

Properties and benefits of the Empolese artichoke

Artichokes are mainly made up of water and plant fibers,useful for the good functioning ofthe intestine. They contain precious mineral salts, vitamin C,B-group tamine and vitamin K (important in the prevention of osteoporosis) and are an important source of iron and copper.


  • They have purifying and remineralizing properties.

  • They are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids and source of beta-carotene.

  • They have antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties.


What is the must-have recipe with empolesi artichokes?

The risotto with the empolese!

Here is his recipe (which you can edit using other types of artichokes, given the historical moment that does not allow out-of-doors trips: remember, #iistayathome).

Ingredients for 4:

  • 350g rice
  • 6 artichokes empolesi
  • 1 litre of broth
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Before you start cleaning the artichokes, prepare a bowl with cold water and squeeze the lemon juice.

Are you ready? Let's start making the risotto with the empolese.

  1. Clean the artichokes by removing the hardest outer leaves, cut them in half and slice them into wedges: then soak them in the previously prepared bowl.
  2. In a pot fry the oil with the chopped garlic clove; When the sauté begins to brown add the artichokes,after draining them well, season with salt and pepper, continue cooking by adding a ladle of hot water and let it go over low heat for 20 minutes,stirring occasionally.
  3. In the while add the rice by toasting it and continue adding some broth as soon as the previous one is absorbed.
  4. When cooked, finish with the parmesan cheese and add the chopped parsley and the risotto with the artichokes with the empolese is ready.


Enjoy your meal!


#dreamingtuscany #istayathome


Image Source: firenze today