Just how middle class is that? A nice big artichoke head has appeared which I cut with a 12 inch stalk. Some instinct – perhaps something I read on t’internet – suggested the stalk was edible, and I was right. I scraped the stalk with a knife, you can use a potato peeler, cut it off the head and boiled it. I also boiled the artichoke head. James Wong suggests for 25 minutes but I think that was probably too much. The stalk was really tender and delicious, by far the best bit. During the last five minutes I bunged in the elephant garlic scapes – a scape is the unopened flower bud. I left 12 inches of stalk this time on the scapes and I was glad I did because this was delicious as well. If the elephant garlic cloves are as good as the scapes then I think it may be the veg of the year on my plot.
I fried the scapes and the artichoke stalk (but not the head) gently in melted butter. My wife and I then sat smugly down to enjoy the high life. God bless reverse snobbery – I would like to say that I have never had cooked artichoke heart, though I like humous, olives and Alfa Romeos. The artichoke stalk was amazing, the scapes were garlicky and like asparagus. The artichoke head was more difficult. I think it was over boiled and there was not much meat on the “petals”. It was a lot of fun sharing the petals with the missus and dunking them in the melted butter.
The following are some pics 0f the allotment as of today:
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