There was a stampede of sorts at my local fruit shop the day small green artichokes appeared on the shelves. At about the size of a medium mandarin, these artichokes are very special. They have an immature choke that is tender and can be eaten along with the heart and a good part of the stem as well.
Small, green artichokes are around until the heat forces the choke to flower. They can be found until late spring. They’re easy to prepare; simply cut the top third of the head clean off, remove the outer leaves by peeling them and cut the stem, leaving a few centimetres attached at the base.
The trimmed artichokes can be sliced thinly and plunged in some water with lemon juice to stop them discolouring. When needed, just pat dry. They are delicious served raw, dressed with vinaigrette and shaved pecorino or parmesan. Alternately the slices can be tossed in a hot pan with olive oil, and garlic and served with spaghetti or linguini.