Baby Artichokes in Oil
By Angie, Jun 11 2013 09:00AM
I already had a green globe artichoke on my original plot (39) and have been lucky enough to inherit a young crimson globe artichoke on my new plot (38).
The crimson globe artichoke seems to be stealing the show at the moment, as there is no sign still of the green globes yet. Of course, they are functional too as they provide great shelter from the winds coming off the sea.
As a family, we have a love/hate relationship with globe artichokes. I have tried various recipes for artichokes and have really struggled to convince my family to eat them. This year, as home-made pizza is a family favourite, I am going to try to preserve the artichokes in oil to use them for pizzas.
To keep the prep down to a minimum, I am harvesting the globes very young. This means little hard leaves have had time to develop, so there is less waste than when you prepare the older, larger globes.
So, I snap off only the layers that seem hard. Sadly, even picking the globes young doesn't mean you miss out on the prickles (as my poor fingers will testify!), so I then cut off the top section including the prickles and harder outer edges of the leaves.
Finally, I peel away the stalks, cut them down and then cut the whole globe in half. Luckily, young artichokes haven't developed their inedible choke, so this doesn't need removing (although if you spot the woolly tell-tale signs of the chock, remove this with a small teaspoon or sharp knife).
Meanwhile, I bring a small pan of white wine vinegar, with a little salt added to the boil. Once boiled, I blanch the artichokes for a few minutes until tender. I then drain and cool. As I plan to preserve some more once as soon as they are large enough, I drain the vinegar into a bottle to reuse for the next batch and label (as the now-pink bears an uncanny resemblance to my home-made pink elderflower cordial - not a mistake I want to chance!!).
Once cooled, I bring some olive oil with a few black peppercorns added, to the boil. Once boiled, I add the artichokes and bring the whole mix to the boil. I them place the hot oil and artichokes into a sterilised preserving jar and put them in a cool place ready to use. Once opened, use within 2 months.