The usual way is to boil artichokes, as in the recipe below. Once drained and cooled they can be wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge for a day or two. They are best served at room temperature, so give them an hour or so to lose their chill.
Small globes are tender enough to be deep-fried, either whole or cut into wedges. The outer leaves become beautifully crisp enclosing a soft choke-free heart. Plunge into very hot oil and fry for about 5 minutes, covering the pan so they cook in a mixture of steam and oil. Lift into a bowl, using tongs. Add a sprinkling of lemon juice, sea salt flakes and coarsely ground black pepper, and shower with chopped flat leaf parsley. Eat right away while still hot.
Baby Artichoke Salad with Kalamata Olives and Rocket
If you can find them, use small Violetta artichokes. As the name suggests, they are tinged with purple, and look beautiful with the purple-black Kalamata olives. Otherwise, any small globes will do as long as they are no more than 6–8cm in diameter.
small artichokes such as Violetta, 4
rocket a good handful
Kalamata olives a few, pitted and halved
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes
cracked black pepper
1) Heat a large saucepan of water, acidulated with lemon juice.
2) Trim the artichoke stalks at the base. Pull off some of the outer leaves until the visible leaves are mostly green and purple. Slice the top 2cm off the remaining leaves. Rub the cut surfaces with the squeezed lemon halves to prevent blackening.
3) Once the water is boiling, plunge the artichokes into it. Cover with a heatproof plate to stop them bobbing up above the water. Simmer briskly for 30–40 minutes until tender and an outer leaf pulls out easily. Turn upside down on a plate to drain. When cool enough to handle, slice in half lengthways and scoop out the small hairy chokes.
4) Arrange some rocket leaves on a serving plate, and place the artichoke halves on top, cut side up. Add the olives and trickle over a little olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes, cracked black pepper and a few shavings of Parmesan.
Recipe © Christine McFadden from The Farm Shop Cookbook published by