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In season late spring: Globe artichokes

Raw, boiled, grilled, baked or stuffed, the globe artichoke is a welcome summer treat.

Buying

Look for firm heads with crisp petals, held tightly together. Open or split petals mean the plant is not fresh.

Storing

Refrigerate in the vegetable compartment or in a plastic bag.

Nutrition

Artichokes are an excellent source of folate which is important for cell development and repair and fibre for good bowel health. They are also a source of vitamin C, potassium and niacin.

Preparing

Cut off the hard petal tip with scissors and remove any small hard leaves from around the stem. Trim the stem, leaving only a few centimetres. Cut off the top 1.5cm of the artichoke and discard.

Cook artichokes in simmering water with a little lemon juice, covered, for 30-40 minutes until tender (the outer leaves will pull away easily from the stem). Leave until cool enough to handle.

When cool, cut artichokes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the hairy, inedible ‘choke’. The artichokes can then be eaten as they are, or preserved in vinegar, oil or brine.

Eating

To eat fresh artichokes, serve hot or at room temperature, dipped in vinaigrette or aioli. Pick off the leaves individually and scrape the flesh from the hard petal with your teeth. The heart and stem can be sliced and eaten, too.

Using

  • Prepare artichoke as above. Stuff with sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with oil, season and place in a pot with a few centimetres of chicken stock and bake.
  • Slice microwaved artichoke on pizza with prosciutto, olives, garlic and mozzarella.
  • Serve cooked/marinated artichokes as part of an antipasto platter with olives, salami, roasted courgettes and eggplants, tomato slices, cheeses and bread.
  • Add chopped artichokes to quiche egg mixture pre-baking.
  • Add artichokes to egg and potato frittata mixture before cooking.
  • Toss artichokes through a potato salad.
  • To make artichoke pâté, blend 220g cooked/marinated artichokes with a good drizzle extra-virgin olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 2 anchovies (chopped), 1/2 clove garlic and a good handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped). Use on bread or bruschetta.
  • Try this delicious recipe idea: Artichoke, walnut and spinach pasta.

Did you know? Jerusalem artichokes are a knobbly root vegetable and they are not related to the globe artichoke.

First published: Nov 2012



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