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Artichoke Recipe

SFBD (5)

Set aside a bowl of cold water and a lemon cut in half to soak the artichokes while you are working to stop them discolouring.

4 artichokes, tough outer leaves removed and stalk trimmed with a vegetable peeler. Cut the artichokes in half lengthways  and scrap out the rough choke until you feel you are scrapping the heart of the flower.  Trim the green top of the remaining leaves, they will be tender when they go from green to yellow. Rub the artichokes with lemon when you place them in a bowl of water to stop them discolouring.  Don’t be surprised at home much of the rough stalks you have to remove to reveal the treasures of this kitchen diamond.

1 large clove of garlic, skin removed and finely chopped
50g flat leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
50g fresh mint, leaves only, finely chopped
100g fresh breadcrumbs (optional)
Salt
2 – 3 tablespoons of EVOO

Mix the garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs (if you are using them), salt and oil together
Choose a heavy bottomed casserole pot and gently heat a tablespoon of oil and gently fry the garlic. Lower the heat.  Fill each half of the artichoke with the mixture and gently place, filling side up, in the pot.  Continue until all the artichokes have been filled and are placed in the pot.
Add a couple of tablespoons of warm water to help steam the flowers
Cover with greaseproof paper and place the lid on the pot
Simmer very gently for about 20 minutes until the flowers are cooked and tender.

RULE: Artichokes are part of the thistle family.  Can you can imagine eating a thistle?  Not preparing an artichoke carefully will have the same sensation.  The central choke is spiky and so can the outer leaves be. When you’re cleaning the choke an apple corer can help but use your fingers to check the centre that is left is smooth.

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