Artichoke Globe, 1pc
One globe artichoke from France, 1pc
A stunning perennial vegetable that is actually a flower bud. We should all be eating more perennial fruits and vegetables as they are one of the most environmental friendly crops. When perennials are established there is no soil disturbance and a lot less watering and weeding is needed than with annual crops. These gorgeous artichokes make a spectacular lunch or starter and there is nothing like them in flavour.
- Slice off the top 2 cm or so of the petals and use kitchen scissors to snip off the spiky tops of all the remaining whole petals. Cut off excess stem, leaving about an inch attached to the artichoke. Give them a rinse then steam for about 30 minutes or until an outer petal can easily be pulled off. You can put aromatics in the steaming water if you like - garlic, bay leaves and lemon rind - to infuse the artichoke as you steam it.
- Then serve with a simple dip like mayonnaise or vinaigrette. Pull off a petal, dip the lower part of the petal that was attached to the bud into the sauce and scrape off the fleshy part of the petal with your teeth, discard the tough part of the petal and repeat. When you get down to the inedible fuzzy part (called the choke), scrape it out with a spoon and discard and now you are left with the tender heart of the artichoke. Cut the heart into chunks, dip and eat.
- Make it a simple but sophisticated meal and serve with good bread and a chilled bottle of organic white wine.