Beautiful hey? This little guy is a globe artichoke – and they’re in season in Spring. Now if you didn’t grow up eating artichokes and if you were encountering them for the first time, you might be a little taken aback by their appearance, and question how the heck you’re supposed to eat them! Fair enough!
Firstly, the artichoke is actually a flower, and the leaves cover a fuzzy center (the ‘choke’ which is a bit fibrous to eat in mature artichokes, but edible in baby artichokes). Inside is a meaty core (the delicious and completely edible ‘heart’). All but the innermost leaves are pretty tough and inedible. With the anatomy lesson done, here’s the lowdown on choosing, preparing and cooking globe artichokes via @sydneymarkets.
There are two globe artichoke varieties, one with round, deep green leaves and the other with elongated purple spiky leaves (and they taste the same). When choosing your artichokes, look for heavy produce with firm heads and tightly closed leaves.
To prepare globe artichokes, cut off and discard all but 5-8cm of the stem, remove the tough outer leaves and slice one third off the top. Drop them into cold water with some lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
Took cook, place globe artichokes in a deep saucepan (not aluminium or cast iron) of simmering water with a squeeze of lemon juice. Cover with a plate to submerge them and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender when tested in the thickest part with a skewer. Alternatively, some prefer to steam them in a saucepan or pressure cooker. Drain and remove the spiky centre. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.Scrummy!