Artichokes are such a prehistoric-looking plant, with huge leaves and forbidding-looking flower buds… but they are truly delicious once you know what to do with them!
Fresh from the garden: artichokes, lemon, thyme, lemon thyme
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes
What to do:
- Fill the stockpot with water & set to boil on high heat.
- One by one, hold each artichoke on the edge of the counter with the stem overhanging, and quickly snap it off the head. Pull the straggly & older leaves off and check that the artichoke will sit up straight, trimming the base if needed.
- Add a tablespoon of cooking salt to the water when boiling and add the artichokes. Wash your hands to remove the bitterness!
- Cook for about 10 minutes (a little longer for the big ones) and then check the base with a skewer to see if tender. Remove when done using the tongs and drain upside-down in the colander.
- Meanwhile, peel the garlic clove and put it in the mortar with a large pinch of salt. Pound to a paste. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the mortar (without pips) then stir the lot with the teaspoon and scrape it into the large bowl. Stir in the oil and grind some pepper, then whisk the dressing lightly.
- Wash, dry and pick the thyme leaves and then add to the vinaigrette.
- Place each artichoke in the centre of each soup plate and drizzle the vinaigrette over the top.To eat, pull each leaf away from the artichoke and dab in the vinaigrette. Scrape the bottom part between your teeth, and then discard the leaf. Once you near the middle and the super-tender leaves, you can remove them in a clump to expose the ‘choke’ – scrape this off carefully with a teaspoon and discard to reveal the best of all – the heart, soaked in all the left-over juices! Yum yum.
Notes: What sort of plant is this? How else could you eat it? Why don’t you eat the choke? What makes your hands bitter? What else can be made from artichokes?