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!