Add fresh artichokes to your plate in an instant
Not only do they taste delicious, but they’re also great for detoxing and burning fat: artichokes. These vegetables are unjustly regarded as complicated to prepare as with the right tricks, you can conjure up tasty dishes with them in no time at all. We show you how.
Slimming and good for the health
The positive effects of artichokes on physical well-being have been well-known since ancient times, explaining why the edible thistle bud used to be cultivated as a medicinal plant. Even today, its essence is still used in many medicinal products for gastrointestinal issues.
The substances contained in artichoke leaves can provide relief from bloating, constipation, flatulence and heartburn. They stimulate digestion and bowel movement plus support liver and gallbladder function. Bitter substances also suppress the appetite and are diuretic.
Other parts of the artichoke also have slimming properties. Not only do artichokes have as few as about 45 calories, they also discipline us to eat slowly. The consumable parts are small and so well distributed that it takes a little preparation to release them, so there’s no temptation to just wolf them down.
Simple artichoke preparation
Fresh artichokes are extremely versatile and can be effortlessly transformed into a tasty dish. The simplest option is to snap off the thick stem and simmer the entire artichoke in a pan of salted water with a little lemon juice for about 25 minutes before fanning it out on a plate.
The artichoke now looks like a flower and you can nibble off the small, soft bases of the leaves, dipping them in a vinaigrette or other sauce before each bite if desired. It looks particularly stylish when the dip is placed in the centre of the flower but you can naturally also just serve it on the side.
Once you’ve eaten all the leaves, it’s time for the best bit, although you’ll first have to remove the thick, white hairs, also known as the ‘choke’. Underneath – almost like a reward for your work – is the artichoke heart. You can eat this as is or prepare it in various ways: by pickling, stuffing and/or cooking it au gratin.
Tips for extraordinary tasting artichokes
Have you still not had enough of these exquisite titbits? Then we’ve got several tips on how to make artichokes even more delicious:
- Very young artichokes can be eaten (almost) in their entirety. To do this, remove the outer leaves, cut the tips off the remaining leaves and trim the stem. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and cook in salted lemon water for about 20 minutes.
- Most artichokes are grown in the Mediterranean region. They therefore go very well with herbes de Provence. These can be used, for example, to season a vinaigrette made from finely diced onions, oil, vinegar and honey, in which you can then dip the cooked artichoke leaves.
- Although artichokes are available all year round, they taste best in autumn once they’ve formed an impressive rosette of leaves.
Fun fact: did you know that in previous centuries, only the rich ate artichokes? They used to be a symbol of wealth. Thanks to their widespread growth, however, artichokes have now become very much affordable, so there’s no longer anything in the way of you adding them to your plate.