>First artichoke

>Today I cut the first artichoke of the year, the bigger one in this picture. This should encourage the smaller ones around it to grow. One small artichoke isnt much between two people! So I made a dish we once ate as a first course in a Greek restaurant in London:

Artichoke with broad beans

artichokes – preferably at least one per person

broad beans

1 sweet onion, sliced thinly

1 garlic clove, sliced thinly

3 tablespoons of tomato passata

oregano

lemon juice

olive oil

white wine

salt and pepper

Cut the outer leaves off the artichokes and remove any choke – if the artichokes are small like this one there wont be any choke. You can either leave the artichoke hearts whole or quarter them. Simmer these with the peeled stalks in a mix of olive oil and a little white wine until they are tender. Meanwhile simmer the broad beans in water (for just a couple of minutes if they are young fresh ones like I picked today) and sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Mix all the ingredients together, including the oregano, tomato, salt and pepper, and serve warm or cold.

After the rain the garden is very green and its hard to imagine that in a couple of months time it will all be dry, except where we water, and will stay like that till September. I sowed haricot beans, the first sowing of the season. Ive bought some snail pellets which claim not to harm animals and to be usable in an organic garden. Last year the snails ate my haricot bean plants as soon as they had two leaves, so Ill be watching them carefully this year and Ill use the pellets if necessary. I dont mind if the snails take the odd bite of a leaf, Im willing to share, but I dont want them taking the whole plant! Id welcome any suggestions about how to deter them.

3 thoughts on “>First artichoke

  1. >Are they basically iron?if so, then the brother of a Canadian friend of mine invented them and has been very happy ever since! They work really well – I use them when necessary too.Love the recipe.I often am a bit short of artichokes early in spring and this looks like a good way to make more from less. You are picking broad beans just when I am sowing them! Our hill is just getting a green tinge after 6 months of being brown. It makes one appreciate the cycles of life.

  2. >Yes, Kate, the pellets are made with iron – what a great invention by your friend’s brother! I’ll only need to use them until the small plants get established, then they’ll be able to fend for themselves and survive having small bites taken from them by snails. It seems to be only the haricot beans and courgettes which get seriously damaged by snails, everything else can cope.

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