'Eating an artichoke is like getting to know someone really well' - Willi Hastings
You may have noticed that we really love our vegetables at Higgidy, in fact we’re pretty sure that we get double our 5 a day sometimes. This month we’re particularly raving about the artichoke in all its glory.
There are two main types of artichoke: rounded Globe artichokes and Violetto artichokes. Our personal favourite is the Globe artichoke, here’s why:
Artichokes can look daunting when not already prepped and marinated in a jar. They take work and preparation for the best results, but we promise you that it is worth it.
One of the easiest ways to cook an artichoke is to steam it. Simply cut off the tough outer leaves, the stem and the top third of the artichoke (you may need a super tough knife for this). Then rub a bit of lemon over the freshly chopped top and steam for 20-30 minutes. This will make the artichoke incredibly tender and you can just pick it apart to dip in something delicious such as aioli. Artichokes can also be grilled, braised and even stuffed. They work well as a main dish, creating something healthy yet incredibly filling that also looks wonderful on a plate – it impresses with ease. Their versatility is endless and delicious.
If the thought of prepping an artichoke from fresh is too much, supermarkets are readily stocked with artichokes that have been prepared for you, halving your prepping time when cooking. Jarred artichoke hearts work incredibly well in a salad or even blended into a tapenade inspired dip. They’re often marinated in garlic and parsley, adding a kick of extra flavour.
Our favourite way to use artichoke hearts is in our Artichoke, Feta and Pumpkin Seed Parcels. We’ve combined a great set of textures that go from smooth and silky artichokes to crunchy pumpkin seeds with creamy feta and spinach. Artichokes work well with contrasting flavours, such as the basil and feta, giving your pallet a great workout.
What else can an artichoke do?
Artichokes are enormously great for your health. They are a great source of fibre keeping the digestion system happy - a medium artichoke can contain a whole 7 grams! Within this fibre content is a type of fibre called inulin which has a positive effect on cholesterol.
Artichokes are also jam-packed with vitamins such as A, C, D, and K – keeping the body healthy and strong in all sorts of ways, promoting organ health, general growth and protection from fatigue and illness. They also contain strong sources of magnesium and potassium which help to lower blood pressure.
Of course, any vegetable is good for you, but we love it when we find a one that is rich in such a large variety of nutrients, that is also tasty too. We would highly recommend adding a bit more artichoke in your life to bask in its splendour! Whilst we’re on the subject of vegetables, in August we have the release of our veg-packed cookbook which contains some really scrummy artichoke recipes – keep your eyes peeled for this.