One of the good things about getting a veg box is trying new things I would never think to buy. This time: artichoke.
To cook the artichoke
- Cut the stem to about 3cm. Using scissors, cut the spikes off the ends of the outer petals (is that the right word?) and cut about 1cm off the top. Pull of any little outer leaves.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, with 2 bay leaves, a clove of garlic and a slice of lemon. Add the artichoke and simmer for 25-40 minutes until soft. Allow to cool.
I made a salad and placed the artichoke whole, pride of place in the middle. To eat artichoke, remove a petal and place most of it in your both, then bite and pull back so the flesh stays in your mouth and the skin comes away. The inner pieces can be eaten whole, except for the tough bit at their base.
- At the bottom of the dish was iceberg lettuce and mixed spinach and rocket leaves.
- The base of the salad was sliced leek and purple spring onions, fried lightly in olive oil and garlic. Added to that was tomato purée, balsamic vinegar, more olive oil and chopped fresh basil, all mixed together well.
- Once the mixture began to cool, I added chopped cherry tomatoes, steamed sweetcorn and diced picked gherkins.
- The mixture was placed on the leaf layer in a ring, leaving room for the artichoke in the centre.