Whether you decide to eat the tasty super-nutritious heart of a flower bud or allow it to bloom in a spectacular display of purple tufts, the artichoke is one of the greatest joys of spring. The best news? These rewarding plants are much more low-maintena
With its spiky silver leaves and hard-toget-at heart, the globe artichoke ( Cynara
scolymus) is probably one of the most intimidating and most underrated perennial vegetables. Harvesting, preparing and cooking these prickly-on-the-outside green beasts might seem like more effort than it’s worth, but with some time, the right tools and our advice on page 100 you’ll soon understand why the Italians and French are completely hooked.
The story of the artichoke has a bold beginning: Zeus, king of the Greek gods, was said to be visiting his brother Poseidon, god of the seas, when he spied a mortal woman on the beach. Zeus was struck by her poise and strength, and her ashen hair streaked with turquoise. Her name was Cynara. Zeus could not resist her beauty and took her back to Mount Olympus with him. He would visit Cynara whenever his wife, Hera, was away. But Cynara grew sad. She missed the mortals she’d left behind. When her loneliness became unbearable, she decided to return to earth. When Zeus discovered she’d left him, he was furious and punished her by turning her into a plant. It was as beautiful >