I am all over globe artichokes when they come into season. Even when they are out of season, I enjoy getting artichokes from a deli counter or using jarred ones to add to pasta, throwing them into a salad or just picking at some with cheese and cold meats for those lazy meal times. But come May/June when they are in full bloom and fresh, I can’t get enough of them.
I will ALWAYS buy them if I pass by a shop selling them. Knowing that I was passing by one of my favourite green grocers, Newington Green Fruit and Veg.the other week (I used to live right by it and miss the goodies in this shop. It was named one of the five best London green grocers by the FT last year!) I knew that this would be the first thing going into my basket.
I can easily spend a solid hour wandering around a good green grocer, wanting to buy everything and then hesitantly putting lots of the produce back when I realise that I won’t manage to cook everything before it goes off.
Artichokes do keep for at least a week in the fridge but, like many vegetables, the sooner you use them the more fresh and vibrantly tasty they will be.
I don’t do anything fancy when making this apart from preparing a warm mustard and chilli vinaigrette to dip the base of the leaves in and the scrummiest part, the heart – YUMMMMMM!!
Here’s how to throw together a real quick and easy dinner (it’s a lot more filling than you think). Or you can also serve it as a starter for guests to share.
The prep. part
- 1 artichoke or 1 between 2 people, if you are serving it as a starter. Cut the stem off about 4cm from the base of the globe.
- 2 lemons, juiced. Keep the lemons once juiced as they can be placed in the pan when cooking the artichoke to prevent it from browning.
- 1 teaspoon of English mustard
- 40ml of extra virgin olive oil
- 5ml of white wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
- ½ tablespoon of chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper to season
The cooking/assembling part
- Put a pan of cold water on to boil
- Once the water has come to a boil, place the juiced lemons into the pan along with the globe artichoke. The tips of the artichoke will probably be above the water line but this is fine as you will only be eating the base of the leaves, so just make sure the majority of the base of the globe is in the water.
- Leave to cook for 40 minutes on a medium heat. You don’t want the water to be vigorously boiling, just simmering. Leave the pan uncovered.
- Whilst the artichoke is cooking, or about 10 minutes before it is cooked, heat a small pan and pour in the olive oil. Allow the oil to warm a little and then add the garlic so that it can infuse slightly into the oil.
- Add the mustard, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and gently stir.
- You just want the vinaigrette to be warm so once it has all merged together remove it from the heat.
Once you have gorged your way through the globe and you hit the more fibrous, thin leaves at the base of the artichoke grab a sharp knife and cut the globe in half. As you can see from the picture below, the hairs of the globe will be revealed. Cut these off to reveal the heart of the globe and feast on this meaty part of the artichoke along with the core from the stem – yep the core too!
Thinking I may just be having this for dinner tonight if I see some on my way home!