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Roasted baby artichokes

November 23, 2010

I like artichokes. I've grown some over the years and I particularly like letting them bloom as the flowers are such a brilliant colour. They're perennials and make a useful addition to the vegetable or flower garden.

There's a bit of fiddling about when it comes to eating globe artichokes, particularly the big ones. The spouse would rather have the ready-prepared ones from the deli. However I found some baby artichokes at South Melbourne Market the other day so decided to try them. At $9.99 a kilo, eight small ones cost me $2.90.

Artichokes tends to oxidise quickly once you start preparing them so it pays to have a bowl of acidulated water ready to dunk during prep and hold them in until you use them. Also, don't use iron, aluminium or copper cookware.

Another interesting artichoke fact - they contain cynarin, which leaves a sweet taste in the mouth that doesn't exactly enhance any wine you might be consuming wth dinner.

Roasted baby artichokes

Roasted baby artichokes

sufficient baby artichokes to feed assembled diners
good olive oil
salt and freshly milled pepper

Peel off several layers of leaves until you reach the soft pale leaves in the centre. Cut the tips off the remaining leaves. Trim and peel the stalks and also the area where the leaves were attached. Place immediately in acidulated water (use lemon juice or white vinegar in the water).

Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and scoop out any hairy choke that is visible. Some smaller artichokes won't have any. Return to the acidulated water.

Simmer the prepared artichokes in boiling salter water for 8 minutes. Remove and drain.

Place in an ovenproof dish and pour over some olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and some pepper. Roast in a pre-heated 200C oven for 12 minutes. Cool and serve.

Try them on toasted ciabatta topped with a white anchovy and a squeeze of lemon.

  • More artichoke facts and recipes here

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