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Globe artichokes make a delicious starter or snack, boiled whole and served with melted butter, mayonnaise, hollandaise or vinaigrette (hot sauces best served with a hot artichoke, cold ones best with a cooked and chilled artichoke). Some varieties are pricklier than others, so beware of the spiny leaves when preparing and eating them (some people like to snip off the leaf tips with scissors before cooking to minimise injuries!).
1 artichoke per person
To prepare, trim the stalk and put the whole thing into boiling water for 20 - 30 minutes or until the outer leaves can be pulled off easily.
To eat, discard the outermost leaves, then break off each leaf, dip it in your chosen sauce, and draw the soft fleshy pulp off the leaf with your teeth. Discard the remaining course, woody bit.
When you get to the middle, pull or slice off the hairy "choke" and eat the heart or fond (the best bit) with the remaining sauce.