The dinner party fact here is that the artichoke is actually a thistle! It is also armoured like one too and takes some tlc as well as time to prepare. The reward for this perseverance is more than enough as its subtle but sublime flavour is a great ingredient to many dishes. They are at their best between June and November although it is hard to find homegrown produce. Some of the best often come from Brittany which is isn’t exactly far! Pick tightly packed, crisp green or purple leaved globes that feel weighty for their size. Artichokes are best eaten as soon as possible but will keep for a day or two in the fridge.
- Finely chop a carrot, leek, 2 sticks celery and 2 large shallots and sweat down in a medium pan.
- Add 4 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tsp fennel seed, 3 sprigs of thyme and 2 bay leafs.
- Add 75ml white wine vinegar, 200ml white wine and bring to the boil.
- Add 200ml olive oil, 5g sea salt and juice of 2 lemons. Keep on a low heat.
- Trim all the hard leaves from 4 artichokes to reveal the hearts and remove all the fibres.
- Cut into quarters and rub with lemon.
- Transfer to the liquid and simmer until soft.
- Great for salads and fantastic for your Sunday roast.