- Large and striking perennial vegetable with arching silvery-green deeply toothed leaves.
- It bears thistle-like flowers, 8-15cm across with numerous triangular scales and green florets.
- It needs space in full sun and well-drained soil.
- The flower heads are boiled - to check if they are ready, push a knife through the heart, or try a basal leaf to check for tenderness.
- Eat hot by hand, with the leaves being pulled off one by one and dipped in a variety of sauces, mayonnaise, plain yoghurt or melted butter, before scraping off the fleshy leaf base between your teeth.
- Pull off the hairy central choke or remove it with a spoon and then eat the fleshy heart.
- It can also be eaten cold with vinaigrette or used in salads.
- The hearts can be marinated, baked, fried or they can be garnished for roasts, filled with vegetables or sauces.
- Culinary: harvest buds when the scales are still tightly closed with 5-7.5cm of stem still intact.
- Can be stored for up to a week in a polythene bag in the fridge.
- Medicinal: the leaves and flowering buds are cut just before flowering.
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Artichoke - Globe, Green