They are already here. Artichokes, scientifically named Cynara scolymus, leave us in summer to arrive now with all their splendor and flavor. They are very good, they are used in a thousand ways and, as if this were not enough, they have health properties that make them highly recommended
The first characteristic of this vegetable is its high content of cynarin, a substance that protects the liver and stimulates bile secretion. But it has many more: it reduces cholesterol, is diuretic, rich in fiber and low in calories. The list of properties continues: its consumption provides calcium and phosphorus, vitamins B1, C, B3, B5 and B6. As if all this were not enough, it is satiating and favors intestinal transit, preventing constipation.
The history of the artichoke is long. Always Mediterranean, it was already cultivated thousands of years ago by the Greeks and Romans. And it has reached our days as we know it after several selections made during the Middle Ages.
How to eat it? It can be eaten cooked, roasted, fried or even raw. And the dishes to which it contributes its flavor and color are infinite: in stew, stewed, sautéed and, lately, very fashionable, grilled. As for the presentation, the ideal is to buy it raw, but it is also canned and adapts very well to freezing, preserving its organoleptic properties.
If you like them as always and the Spanish way, that is, with ham (and an egg), we present you this simple recipe that can pass for a complete meal.
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE
250 g of Serrano ham
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of flour
Clean the artichokes. A trick: this vegetable oxidizes quickly on contact with air, and to avoid blackening it is advisable to rub it with a lemon or a little vinegar, and wear gloves whenever you go to cook it. Once peeled, boil them until they are al dente in a saucepan with plenty of water and a splash of oil. Drain them reserving a little water and put them in a clay pot. Attention, never aluminum, as it is a material that also blackens them.
In addition, the garlic cloves are sautéed in a frying pan with oil. They are minced in a mortar together with the saffron and a little salt. In the same pan, sauté the chopped onions and the diced ham. Add a tablespoon of flour, leave it until golden brown and pour in a little water to boil the artichokes.
This mixture is added to the content of the mortar and everything together is poured over the artichokes. Cook slowly for 10 minutes. After this time, the eggs are cracked on top and left to set.