Globe Artichokes with Orange and Paprika Dressing
At their best in early summer, globe artichokes are delectable, but notoriously time-consuming to prepare. However, this way of cooking them bypasses most of the faff! The artichokes are simply boiled whole, then halved, and the furry ‘choke’ removed. Each diner then dismantles their own artichoke while they eat.
2 large globe artichokes
For the dressing:
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ garlic clove, finely grated or crushed
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
A pinch of sugar
Sea salt and black pepper
Trim the artichoke stalks to a 2–3cm length. Put the artichokes into a very large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer until you can easily press the tip of a sharp knife into the base of the artichoke, between the top of the stem and the base of the leaves – this can be anything between 20 and 45 minutes.
When the artichokes are done, use tongs to lift them out of the pan, holding them upside down for a moment so water can drain out from between the leaves. Set aside until they’re just cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, put all the dressing ingredients into a small saucepan, season with salt and pepper and heat very gently, stirring for a couple of minutes, just to get the flavours mingling nicely. Set aside.
When the artichokes have cooled a little but are still warm, use a very sharp knife to halve each one down through the centre. Now use the tip of a small, sharp knife or a teaspoon to remove the fibrous ‘choke’ at the centre of each artichoke half. Make sure you remove all the little fibrous bits, leaving you with a hollow at the centre of each artichoke.
Place the artichoke halves on a serving dish and spoon some of the orangey dressing into each hollow. To eat, pull the leaves from the artichokes, one at a time, dunking their fleshy bases into the orangey dressing, then use your teeth to nibble and scrape that delicious fleshy morsel away from the tough upper leaf (discard these). When you’ve pulled away all the leaves and nibbled their bases, you’ll be left with the tender heart of the artichoke – the very best bit. Pick it up with your fingers and devour.