Are you in a vegetable rut?
Most of us are pretty conservative with our veggies and tend to eat the same kinds of foods week in, week out.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take a look at some more unusual vegetables that are great for your health. So the next time you’re doing a food shop, don’t reach for the usual stuff, try something new!
I’m going to start with artichokes. With their deliciously sweet and nutty flavour, they are incredibly versatile and make excellent soup too – so don’t be put off by their appearance.
Spiny and tough, with a thistle at their heart, artichokes may appear to be not worth your time, but you should persevere!
Most of you have probably seen them in oil-filled jars, but the fresh ones are worth a look, too. Full of antioxidants, artichokes are very high in fibre, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and other trace elements. They are also good for your liver and digestion.
Because they look so intimidating, most people lack the confidence to try them, but you have no excuses now – here’s a great video with full instructions on how to prepare artichokes, and one of my favourite artichoke recipes. Let me know if you try it out…
How to prepare artichokes: www.pinterest.com/pin/242068548692207330
Parsley, garlic and parmigiano-stuffed artichokes
(this recipe is for 2 artichokes)
2 artichokes (the bigger the better)
5-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Dash of peperoncino (optional)
Boil some water.
Remove the outer layers of the artichoke. Trim the rest of the artichoke leaves, but cut off the sharp edges.
When the water comes to a boil, slice your lemon in half and squeeze it.
Juice into the water along with the lemon halves. Place your whole artichokes in the water and boil for 20 minutes.
After it’s boiled, drain and allow to cool a little. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Prep your garlic, parsley and cheese (along with the optional peperoncino) and mix in a bowl with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. These dry ingredients will be moistened with extra olive oil on top to drizzle the artichokes with during cooking.
Cut your cooled artichokes in half and, with a paring knife or other small knife, cut out the hairy and sharp ‘choke’ from both halves.
Put the artichokes in a baking dish and “stuff” them in between the leaves with the garlic / parsley / cheese mixture and make sure to spoon some into the well of the sliced artichoke. Add any remaining olive oil to the pan.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the artichoke is soft in the middle with browned edges. Spoon on some of the extra olive oil from the bottom of your baking pan onto your cooked artichokes.