IN SEASON – GLOBE ARTICHOKES

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IN SEASON – GLOBE ARTICHOKES
3rd December, 2014

Lately we have received some beautiful local globe artichokes. We don’t get lots of them, so grab them when you can! Globe artichokes are large plants that grow pretty well in the Mountains, so give them a go in your garden. They make a lovely table decoration, being a flower, and we get many enquiries about how to prepare and eat them.

Artichokes are from the thistle family and are very pretty when in full flower, with lovely purple centres. They are best eaten early when they are more closed and the purple choke spikes have not yet developed.

You may be familiar with preserved artichoke hearts, but here is how to get to the heart of the fresh artichoke flower.

 

Choose bigger artichokes as they yield more flesh to eat.

 

The ends of the petals can be prickly, so it can be a good idea to cut the spikes off.

 

Cut the base and stem.

 

Cut the top off by about a third.

Cut the bottom leaves away until the yellow heart is exposed. Brush with lemon as you go, to stop the artichoke from going brown.

Keep cutting until all leaves are removed and you are left with the yellowish fleshy heart.

Use a spoon to scoop out the furry choke and don’t eat that bit.

 

Boil or steam for around 20 minutes. Add lemon, garlic and bay leaves to the water if you wish.

This pot has both stripped back artichoke hearts and the ones with leaves, which need a longer cooking time.

 

Use in salads or on a cheese plate.

 

Here’s an easier way to cook them and to get more flesh to eat:

Cut off the stem and the top third of the flower.

Steam or boil for 20+ minutes depending on the size. You can add garlic, bay leaves and lemon to the water for extra flavour if you wish.

You will know that it is ready when the petals pull out easily.

Pull out the petals and, using your teeth, pull off the fleshy bit at the bottom end of the leaf to eat.

Traditionally these fleshy ends are dipped in melted butter, mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce.

The white flesh left is the heart and is delicious! But scoop out the centre furry ‘choke’ as it’s not so nice to eat!

 

 

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