Artichokes

Types of Artichokes

Globe Artichokes

About

The artichoke is a member of the thistle and the sunflower families. In Australia there are a number of types of globe artichokes including dull green, bronze and purple. The edible part of an artichokes is the flower bud which is inedible once the flower has matured and opened.

Selection and storage

Choose round artichokes that are heavy for their size with a firm stem and tightly packed leaves. Store in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Availability

Artichokes are an autumn vegetable and available in fruit shops in the autumn and winter months.

Using

Artichokes have a reputation as difficult to use but in fact can be prepared a number of easy ways. They can be steamed, or boiled whole, braised, fried and crumbed, stuffed or eaten raw. To use whole cut off the sharp points of the leaves with scissors and remove the hairy central choke of the artichoke using a teaspoon. If boiling add lemon juice and salt to the water to prevent discolouration. Artichokes discolour very easily so once prepared rub lemon juice on any exposed surface. When cooked whole artichokes are often served with a sauce. Artichokes contain cynarin a chemical that sweetens the flavour of what you eat next so wine is wasted after eating artichokes. Artichokes are good with parmesan, butter, pinenuts, chicken, ham and carrots.

Nutrition Information

Artichokes are a good source of folate, magnesium, fibre and vitamin C.

Jerusalem Artichokes

About

Jerusalem artichokes are a knobbly small tuber that is often mistaken for ginger. Despite the name they are no relation to artichokes nor do they have any connection to Jerusalem being native to North America.

Selection and Storage

Choose Jerusalem artichokes that are firm with as few knobs as possible. Store in the refrigerator or a cool, dark place.

Availability

Jerusalem Artichokes are in season from May-October.

Using

Trim the large knobs off Jerusalem artichokes and peel before using. Jerusalem artichokes discolour once cut so to prevent put cut artichokes into acidulated water (water to which lemon juice, salt or vinegar has been added). Jerusalem artichokes can be sliced thinly and eaten raw, boiled and steamed and then sautéed, used in soups, or cooked and then pureed or deep fried and made into chips. Jerusalem artichokes are good with cream, lemons, potatoes, veal, chicken, prawns, chives, parsley and spinach.

Nutrition Information

Jersusalem artichokes are a good source of Thiamin, Phosphorus, Potassium and iron as well as vitamin B1. They are good for maintaining healthy gut bacteria.