This year was the first year that my artichoke plant decided to actually produce artichokes and boy did it produce! It’s unfortunate it decided to do this the year I had to leave my flat, but at least I was able enjoy some before I left. The three artichokes I used for this dish were the last of the lot; a wee bit smaller the first ones harvested but no less delicious! I had no previous experience of cooking artichokes – they aren’t something we see a lot of in New Zealand – though they seem to grow very well. Like any good 21st century girl, I looked to google for some answers.
I found this site as well as this site very helpful. All I did was trim the bottom of the artichokes, cut off the tips of the leaves (an optional step, but it does look nicer) and sliced off the very top of the centers. Then I peeled a few cloves of garlic and stuffed them in between a few of the leaves. Finally, I seasoned them with a bit of olive oil and wrapped them in foil, cooking them in a preheated oven of about 200 degrees for about an hour. How long you leave the artichokes in the oven will depend on their size (and your tastebuds, I suppose – the leaves can be quite tough!) The first time I tried roasting artichokes they were still pretty touch after an hour, but this time they were smaller and an hour seemed to work quite well.
To serve, I simply mixed a few tablespoons of mayonnaise with approximately a tablespoon of mustard (about a 1:4 ratio). The first time I used Dijon mustard (which is probably a more classic choice) but this time I used wholegrain and it worked fine. I still think I have a long way to go before I can confidently say I can cook with artichokes, but for the moment – I’m still keen to try!