Yesterday’s bouquet of artichokes made their contributions to two meals. For supper last night I used the two smallest artichokes, removed the outer leaves and sliced the hearts and stems quite finely – about 3 mm – and shallow fried them in olive oil. This is a dish I first had in a restaurant in Figueres in Catalunya and it’s so simple, all the slices need is a little salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. In the restaurant they were served on their own, covering a large plate, as a first course. We often eat them with other tapas, as we did last night.
I deep-fried the three largest artichokes for lunch today. I removed the outer leaves and peeled the stem then quartered them and put them in a bowl with the juice of a lemon diluted with water so that they wouldn’t go brown while I was preparing them.
These small artichokes have no choke, but if you used larger ones you would have to remove the choke. I drained the quarters, dried them with kitchen paper, dipped them in a beaten egg and then in flour. I heated some olive oil and fried them in two batches until they were golden brown and the flesh was cooked. That’s all! They were delicious. It’s the first time I’ve cooked them like this and I’ll certainly be doing it again.
The artichokes were a real treat at the end of a morning spent collecting goat manure for the garden from the farm at Mas Rolland, where the first kids of the season are being born and soon there will be goats’ cheese for sale again after the winter break. It’s hard work, but always a pleasure to drive up through the hills. It was cloudy on the way and the landscape looked a bit grey, but the sun came out as we returned home.
And then there was all that lovely manure for the garden. We’ll need at least one more trip before we have enough to spread over the vegetable beds, but this is a good start.