A few years ago I planted my artichokes in the front yard of the cottage back in town. Even though I no longer live there I see it every few days when I pick up and drop off the girls. It's just starting to come into season, but it's not quite ready yet, the heads haven't even developed into anything more than an idea. Thankfully I have some other options. A few text messages, an offer of rabbit and a deal is struck. I pick up the box left of artichokes on the veranda from Jane's place. A friend who's right into permaculture. Jane's a mega active community figure that works tirelessly promoting the backyard food bowl approach in her town of Ballarat. Please God may their ears be open!
We've had a few meals from them, a few times I fried them in butter and garlic on the griddle, they worked surprisingly well, but my favourite tried and tested approach to cooking these edible thistle is to bake them with a sprinkle of peccorino, a squeeze of lemon, a dab of butter and glug of olive oil. Yes they're fiddly to eat, picking one tender leaf at a time, until you get to the heart....but I reckon its work the effort. I really like getting my hands into a meal, and besides that, the baked artichoke is one of the best tastes of spring.