Chocolate bunnies and matching Esprit dresses are the first thing I think about when the smell of steaming artichokes fills the house. They were the ultimate comfort food for my sisters and I growing up, and a special treat that only popped up around Easter. This is why I was surprised when later in life I realized that not only had many people I knew not tried a fresh artichoke before, but that it was an intimidating culinary prospect. It’s true, they are relatively unattractive (once cooked), higher maintenance than most vegetables and have spikes, but they have the best personality. If you know how to prepare a squash for roasting, you can do this.
On top of being complexly flavoured, with a sweet and creamy texture, and leaves that were meant for scooping, artichokes are actually very good for you. Cancer hates the artichoke (especially the leaves) due to its high levels of antioxidants, fiber and it’s ability to support and protect the liver. It is also anti-inflammatory, has shown to inhibit cancer-related angiogenesis. What a pleasant surprise. (more…)