These are my artichoke plants which are located in the chicken run, maybe that's why they are so big and green this year. The chickens love to have a lie down under the big leaves on a hot day.
Artichokes are perennial thistles....a prickly morsel of goodness and I just picked some. First feeding done and looking forward to a few more.
So what do you do with an artichoke? There are several recipes but today I decided to use them in a pasta sauce.
This is how you get an artichoke ready to eat?
Have a bowl of cold water with lots of lemon juice in it, artichokes go black when they are cut.
Start pulling off the tough outer leaves, one by one, he loves me - he loves me not.
Be careful, artichokes are very prickly. With a sharp knife cut the top off the artichoke to get a flat top.
Now you have to scoop out the furry choke. I cut the artichoke in half and use a teaspoon to scrape out the choke but you can leave the artichoke whole and scoop out the choke by opening up the center leaves. Trim the outside close to the stem and plop it in the lemon water.
For my sauce I sauteed onion, garlic and parsley in some olive oil. I then added the artichokes and my home canned tomatoes. Salt and pepper, partially cover the saucepan, lower the heat and simmer for about one hour.
Toss in some cooked pasta, a generous dollop of butter and with a heavy hand sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top.
A little warning....
No matter how many leaves you pull you will likely find a stringy leaf, I don't worry about it, I chew it and then take it out of my mouth and place the chewed leaf on the side of my plate, all this is done with with a smile, my pinkie pointed as high as it will go and very ladylike, really.
But if you are serving this to some not so ladylike people you can remove almost all the leaves down to the artichoke heart and avoid the stringy leaf problem all together.
Me.... I'm too cheap and I love them to much.