Cooking with globe artichokes
I cannot resist globe artichokes; I could quite happily eat one every day. If they are on the menu in a restaurant I will always choose them. They are an acquired taste and many people have never even tasted them except maybe the artichoke hearts that find their way on to pizzas.
I grew to love globe artichokes when I lived in Sicily and we grew loads of them. We made a variety of recipes with them and we also preserved jars of the hearts in olive oil.
I love the way you peel off a leaf at a time and with your teeth, drag the soft tissue off the leaf. But the best is when you get to the heart and you reach all that beautiful soft flesh. A good artichoke should be tightly closed and firm.
How I prepare globe artichokes
Cut across the top of each artichoke to create a flat surface.
Bang them top-side down on a board to get them to open up so that you can fill them with salt and pepper. Sometimes I also add chopped garlic and parsley.
Leave about half an inch of stalk as that is also edible if the artichoke is not too mature.
Stand them in a saucepan (you need to wedge them together to stop them from falling over) with about an inch of water. Add your preferred seasoning inside them.
Boil them gently for about half an hour. Pull out a leaf from an artichoke to see if it's cooked.
Once cooked, drizzle olive oil inside each artichoke. Some people like to make a dipping sauce for the leaves but I prefer simply olive oil, parsley and garlic.
A couple of nights ago I had an artichoke for supper followed by a salad of tomato, mozzarella and avocado (photo below) which I dressed with just olive oil, salt and pepper (I am not a fan of vinegar on tomato salad).
I mopped up the oil from both the artichoke and the salad with lovely fresh ciabatta bread. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!