My purple artichoke was looking a little tired, and I am digging the entire bed up to start again, so I decided to hack the plant back, pulling away the spent flowers and limp older leaves.
You can see the baby plants sprouting up now that I've pulled the older ones away:
|Purple artichoke, post-hack (sorry, it ain't pretty)|
I should really split and replant the babies but I'm lazy.
You can see how effective the plant is as a weed suppressor by the ring of weeds around the edge of the now removed plant.
The simplest way to cook them is to boil them after cutting the spiky top off, peeling the stem, and pulling off the outer petals (dip the cut bits in lemon water to prevent them from browning). Dip the cooked petals in olive oil, oil and balsamic, melted butter, or hollendaise. If you want to BBQ them, boil them a little first, then cut in half and brush with olive oil before placing it on the barbie. Stuffed artichokes are also great.
Hint: after eating artichokes, sip some water. It tastes sugary! It also changes the taste of beer.