All about artichoke > Poivrade artichoke
The purple artichoke of Provence is also called a "poivrade" when it's smaller. It's found in southern France, Spain and Italy. Lately it has also headed north to Brittany to give the Camus variety a run for its money in northern markets. "Petit Violet" Artichoke A staple of southern French cuisine, this is the smallest of all artichokes (150 g / 5 oz.) It is also the most distinctive, with a conical shape and tender violet-tinged leaves.
Choose artichokes that are firm and free from blemishes, with a tightly-closed head and dense, slightly prickly leaves.
Choose poivrades with crisp bluish-green leaves that show no signs of shrivelling.
To store them, place the stems in a glass of water to which some sugar has been added.
Picked when slightly immature, while still very tender and before the choke has had time to form, the poivrade is eaten raw, cut into strips and served with a flavorful sauce, with vinaigrette or "barigoule" style, as is it served in Provence, with thyme and mushrooms. It can be simply eaten with a little salt, the hearts can be puréed for soup, or it can be used in fritters.
Cook in boiling water for about 8 minutes if desired.
It may also be turned, steamed, stuffed, braised, cooked in cream and served hot or cold, or fried in olive oil.
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