An artichoke for gourmets
Rustic variety, well adapted to cool regions. Also called 'cat's head', this variety produces large green flower heads with a fine flavour and a slight hazelnut taste. It originates from France, in the region of Laon, in the department of Aisne. The artichoke Gros Vert de Laon is great steamed or boiled and eaten with a simple olive oil dressing or a typical french vinaigrette. It can be used as a starter or accompaniment to multiple dishes. Just be mindful of not overcooking it and keeping it a bit crunchy.
If you are boiling it, fill a large saucepan with water and add salt. Dip the artichokes head down and make sure they are well immersed. Use a wooden spoon to block them if necessary. When the water boils, keep boiling for 25 minutes. Allow between 30 and 40 minutes if they are larger. The artichoke is cooked when the tip of your knife goes in all the way and comes out without resistance.
If you are using a steamer, place your artichokes in the steaming basket, pour 50 cl of water into the tank and steam for about 55 minutes for two artichokes. If you like them slightly crunchy, steam them for 30 to 40 minutes.
Scientific Name: Cynara cardunculus
Plant Life Cycle: Perennial
Optimal Germination Temperature: 20-22 °C
Germination time in days: 15-30 days
Indicative Days to maturity: 90-120 days
Sunlight: Full sun
Soil requirement: Fertile, rich in organic matter, well drained.
Sowing and cultivation: Sow either indoors or outdoors in March or April, directly in the garden. If growing them outdoors, sow two or three seeds every 25–30cm , sow seeds 1 cm deep, 10 seeds per foot. Thin seedlings to 60-80 cm apart in each direction. If planted in the spring, harvest from August.