Artichokes…do you eat them, know what to do with them? I love the little artichoke hearts you get from the deli, on their own as part of a mezze plate or on pizza with ham, olives and mushrooms.

My stepmother introduced me to eating artichokes whole, as a meal in their own right. She’s English and was a food editor so has the most wonderful palate for appreciating good food, nicely prepared but not overly complicated. I remember her cooking them until they were tender and then teaching me to peel the leaves off one by one, dipping in whole egg mayonnaise (S&W brand from memory), and scraping the flesh off with my teeth.

It was a delicious meal you had to work for a little, but totally worth the effort, like a meal of spaghetti vongole, the sweet little pippis that we used to dig up with our toes with my dad at dusk on the waters edge of the beach at Dunbogan.

When I received these lovely artichokes in my produce box I hadn’t quite decided what to do with them, but thought it might be nice to preserve them and then have them on hand for pizza night, which we do every fortnight or so. I’d say more often during these recent Covid times of carbo-loading, which seems to keep us a little happier (and rounder).

So I found a recipe online by Hank Shaw

and adjusted accordingly as I had less artichokes (I used half his amount of pickling liquid as I had 3 large artichokes and about 4 tiny ones), but I pretty much followed the process he uses. You can find additional information in the artichoke section outlined in Stephanie Alexanders Cook’s Companion.

The important part is to have a bowl of lemon juice and water ready before you start chopping and peeling, as they oxidise/brown immediately.

Anyway, they are really delicious, with a nice crunch to them, you could certainly cook them longer if you like them softer, but to me they are perfect as is.