The artichoke is a fascinating looking thing, isn’t it? With its bud-like shape, it always looks like it’s just about to bloom. Well, that’s because it is not actually a vegetable; it is, in fact, the flowering bud of a plant, related to the thistle. They’re versatile and can be cooked a number of ways, which is handy because with that delicious, sweet but savoury taste, it would be a shame to limit them to just one dish!
Globe artichokes should be kept in the veg drawer of your fridge and will usually keep well in there for around a week.
Before preparation, prepare a bowl of cold water with a few drops of lemon juice added. Trim by pulling off the thick, dark outer leaves, before using scissors to cut the tops off the remaining leaves. There should be no dark green bits left on the artichoke. Use a spoon to remove the hairy choke from the middle. Pop the artichoke straight into the bowl of lemon water to stop it browning – this happens very quickly!
Artichokes can be roasted, grilled, sautéed, boiled, or steamed. We love to boil them. To do so, boil whole in lemon water for between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the size of the artichoke. Test by pulling at the bottom leaves – if one comes off quite easily, the artichoke is cooked. It can be eaten hot or cold, and both the leaves and the heart are delicious dipped in melted butter or vinaigrette.
Globe artichokes are high in Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.