Vegetables add color to a dish. They are also healthy and full of minerals and vitamins. Yet there are vegetables in the world that you may have heard of, but have no idea how they are prepared. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to separate the artichoke heart from a raw artichoke.
What is an Artichoke
The name might tell you something, the artichoke is a plant and originated around the Mediterranean region. The name is originally from Arabic Al Harsuf. Ancient books show
that the plant is mentioned around the 8th century BC. The ancient Greeks had another name for this plant: kaktos. The Dutch shipped the plant to England around the 15th century. Artichoke is therefore a plant, actually the flower buds of a thistle. The buds of this thistle consist of leaves that are folded around a flower base. We call this the heart. You can’t eat the plant when its in bloom. At that moment the leaves are opening up. You know when its time for harvesting when the plant and his leaves are closed. The harvest starts in August and September.
Use of Artichoke
The best time for harvesting is in August and September. The plant is on average about 40 grams and has a green color. It’s important if you are going to buy an artichoke that you look at the outer leaves. These outer leaves can contain a brown color. You should always ensure that there are not too many brown leaves. And make sure the artichok is closed. The taste of Artichok is slightly bitter.
If you want to prepare an artichoke, you have to take a little more time. First, start by washing the plant. The next step is to remove the top and bottom leaves. You can break off the steel and prepare it by peeling it. If you don’t want this, you can just throw the steel away. After removing the leaves, you can cook the artichoke. Fill a pan with water, a little salt and optionally add lemon juice. The leaves of the artichoke will loosen with cooking. Cooking can take between 15 and 40 minutes depending on the artichoke.
The bottom is the heart. You can use this for pasta, pizza or a salad. When you have some leftovers, you can moisten a cloth. Then put the artichoke in the refrigerator. You can keep it for a week. If you want to use it later in the year, you can frozen the artichoke up to 6 months. It’s time to tell you how to separate the artichoke heart.
Seperate the Artichoke heart
- Tea towel
- 1 Artichoke
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 Lemon
- The first step is to wash the artichoke. You can do this under the tap or by filling a bowl with cold water. You can take the leaves apart to get rid of the dirt. When you have finished the washing, you can dry the artichoke with a tea towel.
- The second step is to remove the stray leaves from the stem. You can use a knife. After removing the stray you need to remove the tips from the leaves. Use a scissor.
- Take a sharp knife and cut 2,5 cm off the top. You can remove the stem of the artichoke. Use lemon to rub the stem if you have a bit of stem left.
- The next step is to start peeling off the external leaves. When the leaves have a white color at the base you can stop peeling. Normally it is between 4 and 6 layers.
- Take a sharp knife and slice off the green leaves. The remaining is the white bottom.
- Cut off the leaves that are still remaining. You will notice you have reached the center. It looks hairy. Remove the hairy part and after that start rubbing it with lemon.
- If there are remaining parts of leaves use a knife to remove them. After this the heart is clean and ready for cooking!
Below you can find the most frequently asked questions about Artichoke:
The artichoke is a plant and originated around the Mediterranean region. The buds of this thistle consist of leaves that are folded around a flower base.
If you remove all the leaves and the hairy part, you will end-up with the artichoke heart. You can cook the heart until its soft and use it for pizza, pasta or salad.