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Braised Artichokes

ingredients

8 very young tender globe artichokes
1 lemon
1/4 chicken stock cube
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1 tbsp chopped parsley
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

method

1. Prepare the artichokes, removing the outer leaves and chopping the top third off the remaining, tender heart; trim the stems to about 2 in (5 cm) in length and use a potato peeler to peel off the tough outer layer.

2. The artichokes most suitable for use are the very tender varieties; if you grow your own Breton variety, use side buds, trimmed off to let the main bud develop; they will not be old enough to have developed a choke.

3. Rinse them inside and out. As each one is cut, peeled and trimmed, drop it into a large bowl of water that has been acidulated with the lemon juice.

4. Drain the artichokes, place them in one layer, turned upside down in a saucepan that is just wide enough to accommodate them all.

5. Add 10 fl oz (300 ml) water, the oil, the crumbled stock cube, garlic, parsley and the pieces of stalk you have trimmed off, also peeled. Add a very small pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper.

6. Bring to the boil over a moderate heat, cover tightly and turn down the heat to low; simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the artichokes are tender and the liquid has reduced considerably.

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