Have you ever seen those weird looking artichokes and wondered how on earth you are supposed to eat those things and how to prepare them? And, more to the point, how do they actually taste? Well, wonder no more because here you'll learn the art of artichoking in 7 easy steps.
Step 1: put the artichoke in some salty water for an hour or so to get rid off creepy crawlies. Cut off the stem and rub the cut on the artichoke with a slice of lemon.
Step 2: boil water in a pan, put the artichoke in, bring again to the boil, add the juice of one lemon and let it all gently boil for 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the artichoke. I boiled mine for 40 minutes and as you can see it was a bit of a handful. The artichoke is ready when the leaves come off when you pull them gently.
Step 3: make the vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- half a tablespoon of mustard
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
- 1 shallot finely chopped
Mix all ingredients together and serve in small bowl.
Step 4: eat the artichoke by pulling off the leaves one by one, dipping the end in the vinaigrette and gently scrape the fleshy bit off the leaf with your teeth.
A real master of artichoking knows to savour each leaf . Artichoking is an art, it's a slow process, it's enjoyment, it's Zen. Fast food it most certainly is not.
Step 5: after you have eaten all the leaves you are left with the heart of the flower.
Step 6: remove the 'hay' in the middle until you are left with this.
Step 7 : cut into bite sizes, dunk in vinaigrette and enjoy.
And that is how you master the art of artichoking.
How did it taste? Delicious, very tender and spring-like. Not surprisingly as it is a flower bud that you're eating. Are you a master of artichoking yet?
copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen
Gardeners (or, indeed, people in general) who always play safe are missing out on the thrill of taking risks and occasionally bringing off the longed-for coup. If you love colour, then try some outlandish combinations to see how you get on with them. Orange with magenta, for instance. I think those two work splendidly next to one another.