HOW TO MAKE A HEAVENLY ARTICHOKE
Or two. Or six if you are as in love as I am with the roasted artichoke. Roasting an artichoke in the oven is the only way to properly cook an artichoke for artichoke's sake...in my humble opinion. Let's start with one.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit/ 200° Celsius and prepare an oven rack in the middle. Turn the artichoke on its side and using a sharp and preferably serrated knife, cut the top 2 inches of the artichoke off. Cut the stem closely enough for the artichoke to be stable on the tray. Set the stem aside.
Place the artichoke on a sheet of aluminium foil large enough to cover entire artichoke once wrapped. Pour the oil and squeeze the lemon into the center of the leaves and press the sides of the artichoke to help the oil and juice soak through.
Wrap the artichoke up in the aluminium foil and roast on the baking tray for 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, if your artichokes are extra beefy or the stems are large/long, you can maximize the amount of delicious artichoke meat by preparing the stem. The white center is edible and is of the same consistency and taste as the heart. Cut the surrounding green layer in strips to isolate the white center, wrap with a dash of oil and lemon in a small roll of foil and add to the baking tray for the last 15 minutes of the artichoke's cooking time.
You have now roasted the perfect artichoke! See below for an illustrated guide to maximizing your artichoke-eating experience.
HOW TO EAT AN ARTICHOKE
Hey, I didn't know how when I first had them. Every leaf has some artichoke meat to offer. Embrace the primal gourmand within and keep the knives and forks in the drawer. Scrape the soft light-coloured meat with your teeth, starting from the middle of the leaf. The leaves will get softer and at some point you may be able to eat them whole.
When the leaves become translucent, you can grab the prickly tip and pull off the rest of the leaves in bulk, revealing the artichoke hairs below.
Bite off the soft part of the leaves and be careful of the prickly tips. The hairs are edible and depending on the type of artichoke can be so small and soft that they are barely noticeable. However, most of the time they are too thick and are uncomfortable to eat. They are also more easily removed. Grab sections of the hairs and reveal the goose-pimpled surface of the artichoke heart. With all the hairs removed, you are left with a delectable heart. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Grant Clark and Rosie Kosinski
Illustrations by Rosie Kosinski