Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ category

Artichokes Are Nice

October 2, 2007


Until yesterday, I had never, ever eaten a fresh (globe) artichoke!  We previously bought a likely-looking specimen from Waitrose earlier in the year and never cooked it – we simply didn’t know what to do with the thing, and then forgot about it until it was too late.  We had to eventually throw it away – appalling, I know – we do HATE to waste food like that.  So, by way of making amends, I picked up a couple large, purple-tinged artichokes from North End Road Market and decided to take the plunge.  We just boiled them rapidly for about 30 minutes and then dipped the leaves in garlic mayo.  Lovely, and so satisfying to eat… it’s like a treasure hunt… pulling out all those leaves with only a teasing… yet gradually more plentiful amount of edible flesh on them…. until you finally reach the solid, meaty heart.  It has got to be the ultimate in delayed gratification!

I must say I also adore canned artichoke hearts, having developed a taste for them in Sri Lanka; for some reason they featured strongly on the breakfast buffet at a hotel where we stayed.  I do think some things are particularly tasty from a can.   The hearts matched the otherwise traditional buffet of sausage, bacon, eggs, fried bread, cereal, and tropical fruit rather oddly indeed.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t resist their soft, squidgy saltiness and had at least five every morning.  Not especially wanting to continue to eat them with my muesli when I returned home, I have been at a bit of a loss to know what to make with them, until recently that is, when I found this recipe for a very easy and quick ‘store cupboard’ lunch from The Food Doctor.  It’s in his Diet Club book, which I highly recommend for tasty, simple recipes: 

½ can tuna with canned artichoke hearts, some mixed peppers from a jar, and a dressing. 

I use the Classic French dressing recipe from the same book: 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 flat teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon red chilli paste 

Sprinkle some roasted seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, hemp and flax) on top, serve with a slice of bread or a couple of oatcakes.