THE AMAZING ARTICHOKE

Depending on the variety of globe artichokes, they may have green, violet or bronze coloured leaves.

In Melbourne it is mid October and the ‘Green Globe’ variety of artichoke is close to being out of season.

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However, notice that the head is still tight, heavy and compact. Fortunately for me, the green artichoke did not have a hairy choke, but in the next few weeks if you are purchasing the green variety, it is likely to have a hairy choke. Young and in season artichokes do not have chokes or may have a small choke that can be removed quite easily. The hairy, inedible choke becomes prominent when artichokes are going out of season and are left to mature on the plant; the hairy part becomes part of the seed body of the artichoke.

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The violet tinged variety has been available from my favourite vegetable stall in the Queen Victoria Market for the last few weeks and will continue to be in season for a few more weeks, but as long as the weather doesn’t get too hot. The spiny leaf tips can be prickly so I am always more careful when I clean the violet ones.

The green artichokes are at their best in autumn.

 

When I purchase any variety of artichokes I always select artichokes that are compact and avoid opened out artichokes with curled or dry looking leaves.

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Once stripped of its outer fibrous cover, the top of the stem, is very tender and tasty.

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Stuffed artichokes should always be upright in the saucepan and have the cooking liquid three quarter -way up. Sometimes I cook potatoes with artichokes to prop them upright.

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For recipes with artichokes see:

A Quick Pasta Dish for Spring: Asparagus, Artichokes, Peas

Artichokes From the Growers

Carciofi (Artichokes and How to Clean Them and Prepare Them for Cooking)

Carciofi Farciti (Stuffed Artichokes: with Meat and with Olives and Anchovies)

Carciofi Imbottiti (Stuffed Artichokes)

Stuffed Artichokes with Ricotta and Almond Meal

Pasta Alla Favorita (Pasta with Artichokes, Broadbeans, Peas Alla Favorita)

Carciofi (Artichokes)

Carciofini Sott’ Olio (Preserved Artichokes in Oil)

Globe Artichokes and Jerusalem Artichokes

When artichokes are in season, I obviously cannot get enough of them.

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