We went to Martinborough in the weekend and stopped in at Che’s aunt’s place to pick some of her M-A-S-S-I-V-E selection of artichokes. She has an awesome variety, 4 different types and they’re all so beautiful. I’m not going to lie, I just straight up asked if I could have some.
Since I don’t have a big section to grow everything myself, I keep a keen eye on anyone that may have a glut of something that I don’t have. Then I also share out my excess produce to repay the favour.
Anyway, today I have TWO recipes on how I prepared the artichoke. A quick note before I start: Artichokes oxidize (turn brown) really quickly when cut open. It’s just a visual thing and won’t change the taste but if you want to stop it, rub the cut end with some lemon juice.
If you don’t want to see pictures of the recipe steps, scroll on down the bottom for the recipe.
I got quite a selection of different types and different sizes. Some were baby artichoke and some were bigger and it makes a difference in how you prepare them. When you cut them in half, the bigger ones have a hairy, fibery bit inside called the choke. It will literally make you choke if you eat it, it’s horrible! It’s really easy to scoop out with a spoon though.
The baby ones don’t really have one yet, have a look at the picture below on the right. These ones can be left at as is.
Today’s recipes use the heart and the stem of the artichoke so I removed all the tough outer leaves. For the older, larger artichoke I removed more of the leaves, whilst the baby ones are more tender and don’t need as many taken off. It’s actually the tips of the leaves that are the hardest too, so even after removing the outer leaves, cutting off about 1cm off the top of the artichoke will make it much easier to eat.
**If I’m preparing the whole artichoke to eat as is, I eat the outer leaves too. I steam the whole artichoke until tender, then peel each leaf off individually, dip it in butter and scrape off the meaty bit with my bottom teeth. It’s time-consuming but if you don’t want to waste all these outer leaves, there’s the way to eat them.**
Once those leaves are off, you’re left with the heart. These artichokes were cut off with not much stem, unfortunately, otherwise, I would be using that too. The stem is JUST as delicious as the heart.
For the olive oil recipe, I laid these, cut side down, in a pot in a single layer. Then I sprinkled over a little salt and covered them with a layer of extra virgin olive oil. You can use whatever olive you like, but the better the oil, the better the taste.
Then on the lowest heat setting, warm up the oil and gently let the hearts poach for 30 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the oil cool down. Sterilize some jars whilst the oil is cooling.
Once the oil has cooled, place the artichokes in the jars, alternating with some fresh oregano, fresh garlic and lemon. I add 1/2 a lemon sliced per jar and 2 cloves of garlic per jar. Top the jars up with the poaching oil.
Seal with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Now if you’re not keen all the olive oil, here’s a super simple lemon brine to preserve your artichokes in. If sealed and sterilised, this one can be stored in the cupboard instead of the fridge.
Firstly, bring a pot of water with a tsp of salt to boil and boil the artichoke heart for about 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain.
For a 450ml jar which fits about 3-4 artichoke, in a pot, combine 200ml water, juice of 1 lemon and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes.
In sterilised jars, place in your artichoke and fill up with the hot lemon brine. I like to add a slice of lemon on the top.
Seal and place the jar upside down in a pot of boiling water, so that at least 5cm of the jar is submerged. Boil for 5 minutes before lifting out and letting cool.
This is a really simple but delicious way to preserve artichoke.
- Artichoke hearts and stems
- 1 tsp salt per pot
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Fresh Oregano
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Fresh lemon, sliced
- Prepare your artichoke so you have the hearts and stems.
- Place them cut side down in a pot and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt.
- Cover them with a layer of extra virgin olive oil.
- On the lowest heat, warm the oil and gently poach the artichoke for 30 minutes until tender.
- Let the oil cool and prepare your jars.
- Place the artichokes in the jars, alternating with fresh oregano leaves, 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 sliced lemon per jar.
- Top with the poaching oil and seal.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.