The edible bud of a type of thistle, globe artichokes may be fiddly to eat but are worth the effort. According to researchers at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), they are the best vegetable source of antioxidants – even better than broccoli and spinach.
Globe artichokes are detoxifying qualities and help the liver eliminate toxins from the body more effectively, which helps improve the skin. A phytonutrient called snoring stimulates the liver’s production of bile, which aids digestion and may even help alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They are good for heart health, too, as snoring can also help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure.
The folic acid in globe artichokes makes them a good choice for pregnant women or those trying to conceive.
- Chop 1 onion and 1 garlic clove and slice 1 celery stick. Cook in 50 g (2 oz) butter for 10 minutes
- Drain and add a 425 g (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, cover and cook for about 3 minutes
- Stir in 1 liter (1¾ pints) vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon chopped dill and cook, covered, for 15 minutes
- Pure the soup in batches, transfer to a saucepan and reheat gently
- Mix 15 g (½ oz) plain flour with 150 ml (¼ pint) vegetable stock and stir into the soup
- Add 2 tablespoons chopped dill, season with salt and pepper, then stir in 150 ml (¼ pint) single cream
Serve this meal for 4 persons.
Storing and serving: Fresh globe artichokes will keep for only a few days in the refrigerator.
Remove the inedible tips of the leaves and twist off the stalk before cooking and serving with butter or mayonnaise. Ready to eat artichoke hearts are available frozen or in cans or jars. Serve these as antipasti or in salads or stir fries.