Pickling Artichokes: A Guide

Pickle artichokes – these fruits are suitable

Artichokes are one of the most decorative vegetables. And indeed, the vegetable belongs to the daisy family, which also includes such popular flowers as chrysanthemums.

  • As gigantic as the large artichoke species appear, the edible part of the plant is comparatively small. You can pickle all types of artichokes, but the small ones are much more tender and are particularly suitable if you want to pickle artichoke hearts. If, on the other hand, you want to pickle the delicate flower base, you should rather use the large artichoke varieties.
  • When buying the artichokes, make sure that you buy good fruit. You can use a few criteria to distinguish good artichokes from less good ones.
  • Artichokes that are soft to the touch or have brown spots or can be dented easily should be left alone.
  • The stem of the artichoke must not be too short and above all not dried out.
  • If the leaves of the vegetable are already sticking out, this is also not a sign of particularly good quality. The leaves of the artichoke should fit as tightly as possible.

Prepare artichokes for pickling – this is how it works

To prepare the artichokes for pickling, you need a sharp knife. You should also have disposable gloves ready. As soon as you work the artichoke, the bitter substance cynarin comes out and stains your hands unattractively dark.

  • Since you’ll likely pickle several artichokes, have a bowl of water ready and add a few drops of lemon juice.
  • The lemon juice prevents the flesh from turning black. Incidentally, the lemon juice not only prevents the flesh from discoloring.
  • First, wash the artichokes under running water and dry them. Then it’s on to revealing the really delicate parts of the plant.
  • If you want to pickle the artichoke hearts, use the smaller artichoke varieties. Also, make sure you don’t use old artichokes. The older the fruit is, the scrawnier the so-called artichoke hay becomes. In the case of young artichokes, the hay formed from the flower threads is still very tender and is eaten.
  • First, remove the stem of the artichoke. Place the fruit on the edge of the table so that the stem protrudes over the tabletop. Hold the artichoke with one hand while using the other, forcefully, break off the entire stem in one go. In this way, you also remove the inedible, bitter fibers at the bottom of the artichoke.
  • To get to the artichoke heart, first remove the top, inedible part of the fruit. Proceed generously, you should cut off about 40 percent. Then remove the thick outer leaves from the artichoke.
  • The relatively small part that remains of the artichoke is the so-called heart. The artichoke heart consists of the tender, lower part of the inner leaves, as well as the tender artichoke hay. If the artichoke is older, the artichoke hay is no longer really edible due to the bitter substances. In this case, remove the hay with a universal former, for example. Before moving on to the next artichoke, put the exposed artichoke heart in the lemon water provided.
  • If you want to pickle the bottom of the artichoke, choose large varieties. Otherwise, the procedure is almost identical. First, remove the top part of the vegetables. Cut away a good 75 percent. Then remove the outer leaves and the artichoke hay. Finally, cut the base of the flower straight.

Artichokes – how to pickle the vegetables

Before pickling the artichokes, chop the prepared pieces.

  • The artichokes are then placed in boiling salted water. Enrich the salt water with lemon or alternatively vinegar. You can also enrich the water with three bay leaves and/or four cloves, depending on your taste.
  • After adding the artichokes to the salted water, cook the vegetables for about eight minutes. Then drain the vegetables well in a colander.
  • While the artichokes are draining, add the spices to the sterile jars. How you give the pickled artichokes the final pep depends on your taste. The classics include black peppercorns and a little salt, as well as garlic, hot peppers, bay leaves, and sprigs of rosemary or cloves. You can also round off the taste of your pickled artichokes with a little white wine vinegar and honey.
  • The vegetables are pickled in oil, although you should use high-quality oils such as walnut oil or good olive oil. Make sure the artichokes are well coated with oil.
  • Place the sealed jars in a dark, rather a cool place, such as a basement room, where the artichokes rest for about a month. Check occasionally whether the vegetables are still covered with oil, if necessary pour some more.

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