FoodLife & Style

Ramadan recipes: The benefits of artichokes

Culinary history has it that the globe artichoke originated 2000 years ago in southern Europe around the Mediterranean sea. In Arabic, few of us know that the commonly named kharshouf (meaning artichoke) is only a variation on the al-ardi al-shawky (a plant that grows on land with thorny flowers).

In a bid to display nutritional care, my parents would boil the lower heart of the artichoke after removing the surrounding flowers and add lemon juice, all the while listing all the merits of the meal: helps in digestion, lowers cholesterol, strengthens liver function, and so on.

But I only really came to terms with the artichoke when I tried the following vegetarian recipe.

1/2 kilo peas
1/2 kilo carrots
8 artichokes
1 tray of button mushrooms, sliced
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 pepper
1. Peel the artichokes and remove the flowers until you only have the heart.
2. Boil in salted water with lemon juice. Keep this water.
3. In a separate pot, fry the onion in a little oil or butter and add the carrots, peas and mushrooms.
4. Leave them to cook, but not for too long. They should be a bit crunchy.
5. Stuff the boiled artichokes with the boiled vegetables.
6. In a baking dish, fry garlic cloves and sliced pepper, then add the stuffed artichokes and some of the lemon water used before to boil them.
7. Leave the whole dish in the oven for a few minutes and serve hot. 

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