Artichokes are one of my favourite vegetables, together with aubergines and swiss chard. I bought these beauties last week at the truly exorbitant price of £1.99…per artichoke! For that price you can buy a whole kilo of artichokes in Spain (taking into account the depreciation of the pound after Brexit et all) Out of curiosity I searched the prices in different supermarkets during one of my daily commutes - difficult to find artichokes in the UK for less than 1.40-1.50 per unit at the very best. Insane. How much of that goes to the farmers pockets? as the granddaughter and niece of farmers I can tell you that very little indeed. Perhaps when governments spend money on marketing to convince us all to increase the number of fruit and vegetables we eat per day, they could think of how to work with supermarkets so that raw vegetables and fruits go down to a more normal prize. How can they possibly justify that the price of one single artichoke is the same as the prize of not one, but twelve packets of salt and vinegar crisps? or eight Mars bars?
For this dish you need:
- one artichoke for two people (or if you are in the South of Europe, as many as you wish)
- two cloves of garlic sliced
- 50 gr serrano ham (or parma, etc…cut it in little cubes)
- 80 ml water
- a tablespoon of white vinegar
- half a lemon
- three tablespoons of olive oil
Clean the artichokes: get rid of all the outer leaves and peel the base as well. Cut them in slices and put them in a bowl of water with the juice of half a lemon. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Dry the artichokes and add them to the oil. Let them fry over medium heat for 3-4- minutes until them get golden. Add salt to the artichokes.
Separately fry the garlic on low heat on the spare tablespoon of oil (this takes only 1.5 minute or so), add the ham and let it fry for another minute, then the vinegar and finally the water. Pour all this over the artichokes and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes until they get soft (the exact amount of time depends on how tender the artichokes are of course - I prefer them a little al dente, but children normally like them soft)