Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke hearts are the tender, fleshy bases of artichokes. They make a delicious but rather expensive hors cVoeuvre.

They may be stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, pate or sausage meat mixed with chopped onions. As a vegetable course for a dinner or lunch party, they may be braised with butter or served with a Mornay or Hollandaise sauce. Artichoke hearts may be prepared and cooked one or two days in advance of serving.

To prevent discolouring, drop each trimmed heart into a bowl of acidulated water a proportion of

1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to Ik pints of water.

12 large artichokes

2 pints water containing

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ lemon

1 oz. flour pints cold water

1 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons salt

Hold each artichoke and bend the leaves back until they snap off. Continue until you reach the inside leaves which have begun to fold inwards.

With a sharp knife, cut off the stalks of the artichokes.

Place each artichoke on its side and slice off the remaining leaves just above the heart. Rub the cut parts of’the artichoke well with lemon juice. Rotating the base of the artichoke against the knife blade, trim the base of all pieces of green to expose the whitish surface of the heart. As each heart is trimmed, drop it into the bowl of acidulated water.

Put the flour in a medium-sized sauce-pan and stir in 2 tablespoons of water to make a smooth paste. Stir in the rest of the water, the lemon juice and the salt. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the artichoke hearts. Bring the liquid to the boil, then simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the hearts are tender when pierced with a knife. Make sure that the liquid covers the artichoke hearts all the time they are cooking, adding water if necessary.

Drain the hearts and serve with melted butter, or use any of the following recipes for artichoke hearts.

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