Artichokes are one of the main crops currently in season at the moment here in Malta. It might be a bit cold as we enter February, but the sun blesses us and keeps on shining. While Valentine’s is the time for red roses, in our kitchen we fall in love with the beauty of a lovely dark green artichoke bud.
Artichokes are lovely to compliment a fresh and crispy salad. A great accompaniment to dice up with a wholesome tuna sandwich. Also a great element to integrate with a main dish. For example last summer we found our batch of preserved artichokes as a perfect match to garnish with our braised rabbit dish.
To cut a long story short, find some time this weekend to stock up on some artichokes and make your own batch to beef up your larder. Rest assured that you will find them handy later on this Spring and Summer as the weather starts to warm up and you are scowering your kitchen cupboards and drawers to find some interesting ingredients to concoct your meal.
We have just made a quick batch this week and put in the time to document the method. We hope you find it useful. In the meantime we look forward to adding them on our menus later this year.
- Large Pot
- 5 x 1 Litre Clip on Jars OR 1 x 5 Litre Jar (sterilised)
- Paring Knife
- Chopping Board
- 30 Artichoke Buds
- 6 litres Water filtered
- 100 ml White Vinegar
- 100 grams Salt
- 4 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 4 Lemons
- 5 Bay Leaf
- 5 sprigs Rosemary
- 5 tbsp Pink Peppercorns
- 5 tsp Dried Chillies optional
- 100 ml Olive Oil
- Prepare a large pot on the stove with the filtered water, vinegar, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil.
- In a clean sink, block the drain and fill with water. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze juice into the water bath. Leave lemon halves in the water. The lemon bath will ensure the artichokes do not oxidize and get dark in colour when you prepare them.
- Start preparing the artichokes by leaving a small part of the stem and cut any excess. Then peel the stem of its rough exterior and remove the petals of the artichoke until you arrive at the tender heart. Then with a sharp knife cut off the rough part of the tip. Up to you if you want to keep the heart whole or slice in half. If you slice in half then make sure to cut out the husk at the centre. Place in the lemon bath.
- Make sure your jars are sterilised. Divide the peppercorns, chilli, rosemary, and bay leaf between each jar.
- Once you are ready preparing the artichokes and the pot of water is boiling, blanche the artichokes in batches of 10-a-time for 10 minutes each.
- Transfer to a tray to cool down. Once cool, pack the artichoke hearts tightly in your sterilised jars.
- Use the same boiling liqueur to fill the jars. Top off with some olive oil and seal. Discard of the remaining liqueur.
- Seal the jars firmly and boil individually, fully submerged in a pot of boiling water for a minimum of 10 minutes each. Leave to cool and they are ready to store in your pantry.