Select firm artichokes with purple- or bronze-tinted leaves. Choose smaller ones – the larger ones can be tough, with less flavour.
Store whole artichokes in plastic in the fridge for up to a week.
There are three main parts to an artichoke: outer leaves, heart and the choke (inedible). To prepare: wash, discard outer leaves, cut off the top quarter and trim the stem to about 2cm from the base. Rub all cut parts with lemon to prevent browning. The choke can also be removed after cooking whole artichokes.
5 quick ways with artichokes
To roast artichokes, cut in half and remove choke. Place the halves cut side down in a roasting pan, brush with olive oil, season with black pepper and roast at 160°C for 15-20 minutes.
For a salad, try sliced, cooked artichoke hearts, tuna, olives, shaved parmesan and rocket. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
To stuff artichokes, cut in half and remove choke. Combine 2 cups breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 1 cup grated parmesan, 1/2 onion, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic. Fill each half with mix and place cut-side-up in a baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil and bake at 160°C for 15-20 minutes. For a creamy sauce, fry garlic and chopped parsley, add 1/2 cup vegetable stock and halved artichokes. Simmer, covered,
for 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cream and simmer, uncovered, until reduced.
To grill, cut artichokes in half and remove choke. Brush with olive oil and grill both sides for 30 minutes or until tender.