Mediterranean kids did not ask such questions, they where familiar with artichoke. It is in the warmer countries where they grow but it where in fact the Dutch who introduced it to England. To get to the heart you nibble the fleshy leaves first, they are taster of what to expect from the hidden gem inside. Not to mention it looks great on a plate.
1 yellow carrot
2 red chicory
handful golden raisons
150 g cottage cheese
300 g couscous
table spoon honey
1. Preheat the oven to 200 c
2. Mix couscous with chilli flakes, olive oil, juice of half a lemon and cover with boiling water so there is about 1 cm above the line, let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
3. Swell the raisins, shave the carrot and roughly chop the nuts and add to the couscous.
4. Cut the chicory at the roots, gently wash the separate leaves and dry them. Fill the leaves with a spoon full of the couscous mixture and place in a lightly buttered oven dish. Finish each leaf with a teaspoon of cottage cheese, a drop of honey and pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden.
5. To prepare the artichoke, cut of the tips of the leaves. Add a slice of lemon to the boiling water and steam the artichoke for 25 to 35 minutes or until the outer leaves can be easily pulled off.
6. Drizzle some olive oil over the artichoke, add a pinch of salt and fresh black pepper and serve like a flower with the baked chicory. A simple green, tomato salad goes nicely on the side.