Now lots of people tend to leave those prickly hoodlums alone but their is one type that gets treated as a prince. I’m talking about thistles here, yes artichokes is a thistle but a very good and very edible one. There are many different types of artichokes but here in Umbria we only see a few. The part that is normally used for consumption consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the leaves (bracts) that envelop the flower and the base, known as the “heart”. The immature florets in the center of the bud are inedible in older larger flowers. Now in order to prepare a large artichoke for consumption you peel away quite a lot of the leaves. In some countries they dip the lower part of these leafs in a dressing and suck the meat off, but I find this a chore. So normally those leafs get thrown away and it is quite a pile that goes onto the compost heap, what a waste.
Time to take action. We took the leaves threw them in a pan, covered them with water and some wine and simmered the daylight out of them. After that into the passaverdure (mouli) and churn. What you are left with is a soupy substance that is great for making risotto and pasta. So again the (stingy) Dutch have their way with artichokes which is no surprise, we introduced them to England after all.