The joy of artichokes

LAST UPDATED: 14 Jun, 2012 @ 13:52
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The joy of artichokes

FOR many amateur chefs, the issue of how to tackle the humble artichoke can be a daunting one.

While they may not like to admit it, there are plenty of people out there who are unsure as to how much of the curious vegetable is actually edible.

But the artichoke should be celebrated not feared, especially here in Spain, which is the second biggest producer in the world.

The Mediterranean staple is thought to have originated in North Africa, but is now produced in countries including Latin America, the US and China.

And with the peak season for artichoke harvesting in the spring, continuing throughout the summer, there is no better time to learn how to cook it.

To prepare one, cut off the stalk and remove some of the outer leaves.

Cook it in boiling water with lemon juice.

After 30 to 40 minutes, check to see if it is cooked – you should be able to pull out a leaf easily.

Drain (upside down so the water runs out) and serve with melted butter or a mustard vinaigrette.

To eat, remove the leaves one by one, eat the fleshy base of each, then take out the hairy choke in the middle and eat the heart.

Alternatively, try this recipe:

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