Much to my delight there were 2 globe artichokes in my veg box this week. I love artichoke hearts, in pasta, on pizza, with lemon and garlic, they are certainly in my top ten favorite foods. Whole artichokes have a reputation of being a bit of a faff to prepare but they aren’t really, they can be very simple and very tasty.
There is something quite decadent about peeling the leaves off, dipping them in some vinaigrette and scraping the fleshy parts off with your teeth and then of course there’s the wonderful soft and tender heart in the center to finish off the meal. An artichoke for me IS a meal, you don’t need anything else to accompany it.
The artichoke is not actually a vegetable, it is the bud of a thistle. The soft, furry choke inside is actually the flower. Artichokes are good for digestion, contain a large amount of antioxidants, can lower cholesterol and can aid liver function.
Roasted artichokes don’t look very pretty but the taste makes up for it. Just be prepared to get messy when eating them as they fall apart in your hands…and obviously don’t eat the top parts of the outer leaves unless you really fancy some hardcore chewing.
- 1 globe artichoke per person
- lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove per half artichoke
- olive oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Turn the artichoke over and cut off the stem. Flip it back over and cut off the top inch or so of leaves. A bread knife helps here.
- Quickly sprinkle the lemon juice over the artichoke to prevent browning
- Cut the artichoke in half and gently peel the central leaves apart until you find the furry choke. No one likes a hairy surprise so we are going to remove them. Taking a sharp knife carefully cut between the choke and the heart, being careful not to damage the heart.
- Brush the artichoke half with olive oil, then with more lemon juice.
- Sprinkle with salt. Peel and smush the garlic glove and place inside the artichoke half.
- Rip off a large square of tin foil and place 2 halves of artichoke inside. Bring the corners together at the top to form a tightly sealed parcel. Repeat with other artichokes.
- Place in oven for about an hour. Check after this time, the roasted artichokes should be browned, the hearts should be tender and the garlic soft.