Not another bloody post on artichokes! I can hear you folks! But these are pretty tasty and will last me awhile I'm sure. Today I had to harvest the first crop of artichokes, and I got them in the nick of time. If you leave them until when they begin to open, you may find they are useless to eat as the flower has developed too far. A couple of the ones I cut today were unfortunately like this, but the rest were fine. There were over 30 of them in various sizes, and there are more coming - especially if I give them a chop, they will shoot up again and produce more for picking around February.
I had enough to do one 2 litre jar that used to have olives in it, and another smaller 1 litre bucket. Obviously don't bother doing this if you aren't growing your own or can't get them really cheap. The harvest I had today I would moderately price at about $70 if I bought them! The seasonings were nearly all from our own garden, so I only had to buy the extra virgin olive oil.
Remember my post a little while ago on preparing artichokes for stuffing? Follow the same procedure for preparation before steaming them, except remove all of the tough outer petals until you get to the paler ones. Instead of cooking them whole, cut the artichoke in half and remove the choke if there is one, keeping the heart.
Put them in a pan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt and a splash of lemon juice, and cook for about an hour on simmer.
Drain, rinse, and leave to cool.
In the 2 litre jar I put three cloves of garlic, 1/2 sliced lemon, oregano, thyme, and savoury...all from our own garden. I added a few peppercorns and filled the jar with extra virgin olive oil until all the contents were covered.
In the second smaller bucket I put some chillies, lemon, and lime leaves with some garlic ( again, all from the garden). I filled this one up also with oil.
Over the next few weeks, I will give them a stir to disperse the flavours evenly, and check they are marinating properly. If you do this, make sure it is left in a cool dark place, especially in the Summertime! If they are getting too warm, I will put them in the fridge. They will be ready about 6 weeks from now, just in time for Christmas. I'm looking forward to pasta and pizza with these stirred through - delicious!