Alcachofas con jamón
(Artichoke hearts with serrano ham)
- 2 kg small, tender fresh artichokes
- juice of half a lemon
- 150 g diced serrano ham pieces
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- olive oil
Prepare the artichokes: rip off the outer leaves, until you get to the last several inner leaves that are more tender and a lighter green. Slice off the tops of these leaves and the stem, so what you have remaining is just the innermost part of the artichoke. Cut these into quarters and toss with the lemon juice.
Heat a skillet with just enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom, add the garlic and serrano ham and sauté just a few moments on med-high heat, then add the artichoke hearts. Cover and reduce the heat to medium, adding a little water, and let cook until the artichokes are tender. Check often to be sure it is not too dry; add water as needed for the artichokes to cook, until tender when pierced with a fork. Once they are tender, uncover, increase heat to high, and let the liquid evaporate (do not drain off), until there is just a little left in the pan. Salt to taste and serve immediately.
Serves four to six as a first course or a light supper.