Last year on the last Friday we were in Ahakista we went, as usual, to Bantry Market. There I bought some veg plants to plant in the garden. I bought them without much anticipation of success and they included a sole artichoke plant and some leek seedlings.
I was particularly pessimistic about the artichoke. I have tried to grow them before and they have always died within six months. This time I chose a different spot in the garden to plant it in with more sun and less surrounded by other plants. It has been a success and last night we ate the largest globe that has been sat proud at its top for the last few weeks.
It is fair to say there is not much to the heart of an artichoke. I had it with a few others (somewhat bigger) that I had picked from the grocers. The leaves came off easily once they had cooked in boiling water for twenty minutes. But having pulled all the leaves off there was only a small heart left to eat. No matter – it tasted of artichoke.
We had it with lamb kebabs that had been marinating in a good mixture of oil, vinegar and paprika and a bulgar wheat salad.
Earlier in the day I finished off the leeks. It transpires that if you leave a leek in the ground for too long it goes woody. Those I pulled from the ground were too hard for anything else but soup. So we had a leek and potato soup for lunch.