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Globe Artichoke

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Vegetables

Name:

Artichoke

  Fact Sheet

Variety:

Globe

Family

Flower Heads

Availability:

October - January

Character:

The Globe artichoke has a delicate nutty flavour and can be prepared so only the heart is eaten or it can be served whole, where the flesh is eaten from the leaf bases by pulling between the teeth, before also eating the heart.

Use:

Serve artichokes as a hot or chilled vegetable either alone or with a sauce such as vinaigrette dressing. They can also added to stews, casseroles and soups.

Quality Points:

The size of a Globe artichoke does not necessarily indicate quality. Choose those with a tight, compact heavy head which yields slightly to pressure. Leaves should be green, purple or bronze in colour. Avoid those with opened out, curled or dry leaves

Storage:

Artichokes are best stored unwashed and with stems intact. They will keep in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator for up to one week

Preparation:

Serve artichokes as a hot or chilled vegetable either alone or with a sauce such as vinaigrette dressing. They can also added to stews, casseroles and soups.

To prepare, slice off the stem and remove the lower coarse leaves, trimming the sharp tips from the remaining leaves. Remove and discard the fuzzy core or choke, but enjoy the dense delicate heart that remains. Steam, boil, bake or cook artichokes in the microwave. The artichoke is cooked when the outer leaves pull away easily.

Cooking Method:

Raw in salad (if small and tender)
Boil
Braise

Steam
Microwave
Bake
Add to stews, casseroles, soups

History:

There is evidence to suggest that the artichoke was a native of the western and central Mediterranean region, growing wild in Sicily, Italy 3000 years ago before being taken to Egypt and further east.

While its early consumption was not popular, (the Romans roasted artichokes on open fires, charring the outer leaves and eating the smokey tasting heart), its gourmet role was launched when Catherine de Medici of Florence introduced artichokes to France. From here, they travelled to England where Henry VIII looked upon artichokes favourably for their purported benefit as an aphrodisiac and women were often forbidden to eat them for this reason.

By the 18th century, the artichoke had made its way to North America

Nutrition:

Source of vitamin C, folate and potassium