Artichokes are one of the most healthy vegetables one can eat, a superfood to rival even the reddest of berries.
Artichokes have a greater concentration of antioxidants than berries, providing a plentiful source of dietary fibre and vitamin K to make them amongst the best foods to help ward off cognitive decline.
Rich in vitamin C, artichokes also help boost the immune system and the leaves are thought to be an answer to controlling high cholesterol.
The alleged health benefits of the artichoke include lower blood sugar levels and improved digestion, heart health, and liver health.
The artichoke abounds in almost every part of Greece as well as the culinary imagination of Greeks from all over the country, so it is very easy to incorporate this healthy vegetable into your diet - such as our easy Greek Arnaki with Artichokes dish below.
We hope you enjoy!
Greek Arnaki (Lamb) with Artichokes Recipe
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 spring onions, coarsely chopped
3 pounds lamb cut into cubes for stewing
10 artichokes, cleaned and immersed in a bowl of lemon/water (you want only the hearts)
1 cup (I just throw in one big bunch) of fresh snipped dill
2 large eggs
Juice from 2 large lemons
Salt & Pepper
Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add the spring onions and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Add the lamb cubes in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate, and continue until all the lamb cubes have been browned.
Return all the lamb to the pan along with the spring onions and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and braise the lamb until it is tender, one to one-and-a-half hours.
Add the artichokes and dill. Cover and continue simmering until the artichokes are almost tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them until frothy. Whisk in the lemon juice. Slowly add some of the cooking liquid from the pan to the mixture, whisking constantly, until the mixture is warm.
Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the egg and lemon sauce. Return the skillet to low heat and continue stirring until the liquid is thick, 1 to 2 minutes.
Serve with Greek feta cheese and slices of crusty bread. You can also add carrots - simply peel and cut a handful of carrots into one-inch chunks, and add to the pan along with the artichokes.