>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 isn‘t 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
1 sweet onion, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons of tomato passata
salt and pepper
Cut the outer leaves off the artichokes and remove any choke – if the artichokes are small like this one there won‘t 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 it‘s hard to imagine that in a couple of month‘s 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. I‘ve 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 I‘ll be watching them carefully this year and I‘ll use the pellets if necessary. I don‘t mind if the snails take the odd bite of a leaf, I‘m willing to share, but I don‘t want them taking the whole plant! I‘d welcome any suggestions about how to deter them.