why are my artichokes like leather? - Knowledgebase Question

Pinon Hills, Ca
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Question by Favgrandma
June 10, 2010
I am trying to cook my artichokes again. This time I pulled off all the outermost leaves to see what happens. Is it a bad plant, I waited until the outer leaves started to pull away from the heart. The hearts are delicious however do like the leaves. Maybe a bad year for them even tho I have about 30 on my plant? Maybe wrong plant-- don't kknow what my plant is. TY Roberta

Answer from NGA
June 10, 2010
You may be harvesting too late; let the artichokes swell until they are large and plump, then cut them just before the bottom scales start to splay out, and the rest are still soft and tightly closed. The good news is that once you cut off the first artichokes of the season, your plants will produce more. The second flush will be smaller than the first and can ripen quickly so you'll have to watch them carefully and harvest before they become tough and leathery. The only other advice I can offer is that while artichokes can be cooked in a microwave, I find the outer leaves often become leathery so I'd suggest cooking them by boiling on the stovetop. It takes about 45 minutes. If you undercook, the leaves will be tough. Best wishes with your artichokes.

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