Sunday, 18 May 2008

Recipes for May

Some of you will have noticed a strange looking item in your boxes this week, if you're not sure what it is or how to cook it i've included a recipe for Globe artichokes.
They really area a gourmet food item and I hope you enjoy them, our plants are quite young but will produce bigger fruit as they grow.

Preparation: Cut off the stem to make a flat base and remove any tough outer leaves. Position the artichokes snugly in one layer in a suitable saucepan or steamer. Sprinkle over some salt and lemon juice. If boiling, pour in enough water to come halfway up the artichokes. Likewise, make sure there is enough water in the base of the steamer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer or steam for 40–45 minutes.

Artichokes are done when a leaf pulls easily out of the centre and the base is soft when pricked with a knife or skewer. Drain and leave upside down in a colander for five minutes.

To serve: The artichoke can simply be placed on a plate as is. For a neater presentation, push back the outer leaves and pull out the centre cluster of purple-coloured leaves. Beneath that you will find the 'choke', an inedible stringy substance that should be carefully scooped out with a spoon to reveal the prize – the dense, meaty bottom of the artichoke.

To eat: Pull the leaves off one at a time and dip the base of the leaf in the butter or sauce. Drag it between your teeth, eating only the thick base of the leaf. There should be a 'discard' bowl provided for the uneaten leaves. When you come to the central group of small, purple leaves, as described above, scoop away the choke and eat the base with a fork, dipping it in the sauce or butter

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