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
- Stainless steel stockpot & lid
- Measuring tablespoon
- Mortar & pestle
- Measuring 1/3 cup
- Lemon juicer
- Balloon whisk
- Chopping board & knife
- Tongs & colander
- Soup plates to serve
- 4 globe artichokes
- A couple of sprigs of thyme or lemon thyme
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Cooking salt
- Flaked salt & black pepper
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?
Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe
Tags: 70's cuisine, Artichoke, children, cooking, garlic, gluten-free, Herbs, lemon, vegetarian, vinaigrette
First newsletter back and already it’s week 3 – how did that happen?! This week we’ve seen it all: summer heat & humidity; wintry storms & sleeting rain… the garden is bursting with life and we’ve loads of great produce to inspire us!
The globe artichokes have been a massive hit with the children! Not only have the plants been astonishing to look at, the flower buds that we know as the artichokes have been a source of much surprise: in how bitter the stalks taste (rub your finger over one at the grocer’s and lick it – you will be amazed and revolted!) and by how delicious the nibbled petals are, dribbled in our lemon vinaigrette – and of course the wonderful surprise of the artichoke heart once the choke has been scraped off. I’d forgotten how totally yummy it is and have been almost begrudgingly handing the cleaned up and garlicky hearts over to the children…!
We’ve made some fabulous salads using up the broad beans that have been springing up, Jack and the Beanstalk-like, in the last weeks, with shaved radish and the skinny leaves of wild rocket… the normal rocket has grown crazily and the large leaves are now too spicy for our salads so we’ve made a sauce by wilting them with a little garlic, mixing in some ricotta mixed with lemon zest and tossing it in our hand-rolled rustic spinach ‘corzetti’ coin pasta…
The garden beds have been bursting with beetroot so we’ve been a bit cheeky and made treats of beetroot and chocolate cupcakes dotted with whipped cream and edible flowers – delicious and beautiful too!
So, for the next menu I think borscht will be the go – steaming hot if this crazy cold weather continues or chilled if we get the summer heat back (!) made with our own carrots, leeks & veg stock – loads of silverbeet and spinach for some spanakopita… and hopefully some more artichokes for the classes that haven’t yet had!
The Big Ask: we’re on the lookout for large colourful side-plates to use as our share plates so if you’re thinking of updating your own or you see any going op-shop cheap, please think of us & drop ‘em in! Also I must say a big thanks to all the volunteers who have seamlessly slipped over to us in term 4 but as always, we do need a few more saviours who are able to commit to a term’s worth of sessions… Wednesdays 11am & 1.30pm and Thursdays 1.30pm are most in need so please send along anyone that is vaguely interested!
Cheers & buon appetito! Melissa