The artichoke heart

The Silent Eye


When I was growing up in Yorkshire, all those years ago, there were many things one read about in cookbooks but did not find in the local greengrocer’s shop. I was 25, living in France and pregnant when I met my first globe artichoke. I had seen the tinned ones, artificially preserved and nothing like these fresh ones. My husband brought them home from market, and I recall wondering at the time how on earth one cooked them and, looking at the huge and scaly thistle buds, why anyone would choose to do so.

My husband, an excellent cook himself, took pity on my ignorance, explaining that young buds could be eaten whole, but the bigger, older ones took a bit more work. He prepared them in his favourite fashion… boiled till tender and served with a whipped vinaigrette. He demonstrated how to eat them, pulling off the individual leaves…

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