Artichokes require some preparation before serving, but they are well worth the time. They are the bud of a thistle – a flower, and a good source of magnesium, potassium and fibre.
Fresh artichokes are harvested in spring, they feel heavy and firm, and the colour ranges from warm green to bright purple. Avoid species with brown parts or soft leaves that don’t have a snap.
There are endless recipes with artichokes, but the classic way to serve artichokes is steamed or boiled with a mustard vinaigrette.
How to perfectly cook artichokes?
You can crack off the stem very easily before removing the top leaves and cutting the points of the outer petals. Once you clean them as per our instructions, make sure you rub them with lemon because they will oxidise very quickly and go brown.
Take care to cover them completely when boiling and leave them until it is easy to pull off a leaf. Another way to check if they are cooked is with a knife through the heart which should feel soft and tender. Just be careful and keep an eye on the time as they are easy to overcook which results in a watery taste.
How to eat the artichoke?
If it is your first time eating artichokes with a dipping sauce, you might need to read this part. Take a leaf, dip it in the sauce and squeeze out the meat from the upper part of the leaf with the help of your teeth.
There is not very much to eat on one leaf but it’s a fancy, delicious, and most of all a seasonal appetiser. When all the leaves are finished you will end up with the heart of the artichoke which you can spoon out. It is the best and most refined part of the dish!
Artichokes with Dijon Mustard vinaigrette
Prepare the artichokes
- Bring a large amount of salted water to the boil with a slice of lemon. Break the stems of the artichokes, cut off the top leaves (optional) and use scissors to cut the pointed outer petals.
- Rub the artichoke with the lemon to prevent oxidation.
- Boil the artichoke for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size) until the heart is tender. When ready, remove the artichokes and place them upside down on a wire rack to cool.
Prepare the vinaigrette
- Whisk together the Dijon mustard with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk the oil into the mustard mixture as you would make a mayonnaise. Season to taste.
- Use your finger to gently open the inner petals of the artichoke and remove the ‘hairy’ centre. Pour the vinaigrette in the centre and serve.
- Keep the artichoke stems for another recipe such as cream soup or cream sauce.