Whilst I’ve eaten them pickled and preserved or slowly wood fired on Pizza and of course, in pasta that wreaks of daily decadence, I have yet to cook an Artichoke myself.
After a late lunch at Giovanni’s yesterday, I walked passed a basket full of fresh Artichokes and without a moment of hesitation, I reached out to touch one of these mysterious orbs. Their green outer sheath is rumoured to get thornier with age, but these were silky and I felt a tad bit lecherous as I stood there, in the bustle, undressing it with my eyes. It really was an odd sensation.
It is said that there is no truer heart than that of an Artichoke and I’m almost inclined to believe the ever-illusive “them”, in this case, because under their visually woody, almost pokey and awkward exterior lays a vulnerably delicious core.
So in ode to this damn near floral beauty and in an attempt to pay it the respect it deserved, I took its picture and admired it. So that the Monsieur and I could dine on the sweet, buttery hearts of this youthful Artichoke steamed to tender perfection and not feel guilty for almost hearing someone murmur “catholic school girl”.
Admittedly though, like most first times, after all the whooha, this was somewhat of a disappointing experience. The leaves were a slightly sweet and woody. And while it was wholly satisfying to pull the emaciated flesh from the husky leaves, once I’d got to the middle, this young flower had no heart! All we were left with was a mountain of green debris – with some stuck between our teeth for good measure – and an urgent need to get Mr Delivery on the phone.