Globe artichokes are harvested young and tender in the summer. The hearts and the bottoms are edible, after the outer course leaves are discarded. They can be purchased fresh, but are also available ready-to-eat, marinated in oil for with herbs for tapas and plain and in tins.
Season: June to November
Nutritional benefits: Globe artichokes are used to aid digestion in traditional herbal medicine and are high in fibre, low in fat and are a good source of folic acid (vitamin B9).
Quick cook's tip:
Globe artichokes are readily-available pre-cooked and trimmed in tins, all year round. These are much easier to prepare than fresh artichokes, but they don't come with the leaves on.
How to prepare and cook globe artichokes: to stop them browning, rub with lemon juice as you go
- Lay the artichoke on its side and cut off about an inch or so off the top and break off the small leaves near the base.
- Cut off all but an inch or so of the stem (you can also snap it off where it naturally breaks, like an asparagus).
- Snip off the ends of the leaves all around the artichoke with scissors to rid it of any sharp points.
- Rinse it well under cold water.
- Fresh globe artichokes are best steamed. This takes around 30 minutes. They are cooked when the base is tender when tested with a knife and a leaf is easily removed. They boil in 20 minutes.
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