By MANDY SINCLAIR
Artichokes begin to deteriorate from the time they are picked therefore are best used immediately. If purchasing from your grocer, choose artichokes with bright green and tightly closed leaves. They should feel heavy for the size. The most reliable method of testing for freshness – rubbing the leaves together – the characteristic squeak assures freshness.
Store, unwashed, in a sealed plastic bag, refrigerated for up to 2 days.
What to do with glut
The best way to handle an artichoke for prolonged use is to preserve them straight after picking. This way they will retain then unique nutty sweetness.
Lemon braised artichokes
Remove outer leaves from 8 artichokes. Halve lengthways, remove hairy choke and trim stem. Cut off and discard top third of artichoke. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, deep frying pan. Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves for 1 min, until fragrant. Add artichokes, 1 cup white wine and juice of 1 lemon. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 tablespoon butter. Cover, simmer on low for 15 minutes, until tender. Place artichokes in sterilised jars and fill with pan juices. Seal and store for up to 1 month. Refrigerate after opening.
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