Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Back in February I posted about some of the artichokes that I had started from seed.
I only had a few more than the original 9 sprout---about 12 all together if I remember correctly---from the 30ish or so seeds I planted. I had planted two varieties: violetta and green globe. Of those I only had one violetta ever sprout, all the rest of the plants are green globe. Since it is somewhat late in the year to start and ready artichokes now for winter---I will wait until next season to try for more. Maybe even another variety or two.
Yes, we are now getting artichokes from one plant only and they are delicious. I don't know why yet, the others are holding out---but I gave them some kelp last night and maybe in the next few weeks they may grace me with some buds. IF I ever get more than two or 3 at a time---I will preserve them in oil (see the bottom of the post for a recipe).
Anyway--I was going to update with some information about the artichokes that I have learned along the way.

One: yes they do seem able to make it and recover from hard frosts like the one of Easter weekend this year. The plants in wall o waters recovered fastest, those covered by a clear "juicy juice" brand plastic jug (bottom cut off) were second fastest and received minimal leaf burn. Those under leaves only where burned back---but recovered none the less and are indistinguishable from the others.

two: they use and need capacious amounts of water. Of all the ways they could die---lack of water has come closest to taking out a few. I finally bought them their own soaker hose earlier in the season and was very regular in watering them during the drought. Now that we are getting regular rain again they are doing fine without my help.

three: in my area they seem to be pest free so far. Now I am not saying that they might not next year or so but we haven't so much as seen a nibbled edge---even by the hungry bunnies invading our garden (the frost and drought has made the wildlife pressure on the garden very intense this year---we are loosing alot to the wildlife).

Here are some pictures and the recipe. Also in the leaf only picture you can see the different shape of the violetta leaf compared to the much more serrated globe leaves.

Ingredients for a one litre jar

1 kg (2.2 lb.) artichokes
500 ml (2 cups) extra virgin olive oil
150 ml (generous half cup) dry white wine
100 ml (6 tbsp.) white vinegar
10 g (2 tsp.) fine salt
5 g (1/6 oz.) coriander
Juice of half a lemon
1 fresh bay leaf
1 clove of garlic
1 Espelette chili
1 tsp. sugar


1. Turn the artichokes using a small paring knife (they want you to remove tough outer leaves, quarter and remove any choke);
2. In a stainless-steel saucepan, bring the vinegar, salt, coriander, bay leaf, chili, crushed garlic, sugar and lemon juice to a boil over high heat.
3. Place the artichokes in this marinade for 10 minutes.
4. Drain, cool and pack into a sterilized jar.
5. Fill with olive oil and seal tightly.
6. Can be eaten as an hors-d'oeuvre, or with a mesclun salad.

No comments: