Or, an artichoke recipe for lazy people. Fresh artichokes always look so intimidating: that spiky exterior, the amount of prep required, the amount of work needed to eat them. Well, this method (told to me by Blai) ignores the first point (ha!) and removes the need for any difficult prep whatsoever. I got to test this technique last week when we acquired 5 globe artichokes for the bargain price of £1. Yeah, that’s 20p a choke – excellent!
Again, this is one of those recipes that doesn’t really need to be in recipe format – I’ll just describe it. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Allow for two artichokes per person if they’re to be served alongside another main course. Wash each artichoke and shake off all the water you can. Slice off the stem and a little of the bottom of each artichoke and sit the artichokes in a roasting dish. Sprinkle salt all over, piling it a little on top of each choke. Roast for 45 minutes. The artichokes will go quite dark and tender and the salt will crust on top.
To eat it, give each person a little shallow dish of extra virgin olive oil or serve each artichoke in a little pool of it. Peel off each artichoke petal, dip into the olive oil, and chew/suck the tender part at the base. As you move further inwards and closer to the heart, you should be able to eat more of the petal. There’s definitely work involved when eating an artichoke but getting to the heart is reward itself! If your artichoke is young-ish, the choke (that fibrey, hairy bit above the heart) won’t be so mature and you should be able to eat everything; if not, just scrape off the tough choke and eat the tender heart with lots of olive oil!
Of course, you don’t have to serve this with olive oil. The traditional hollandaise or melted butter would also be lovely and the internet is full of recipes for artichoke dipping sauces. I can imagine an allioli would be superb!