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Stuffed Artichokes
When purchasing artichokes make sure that the heads are not too mature as the delicate heart can be rendered inedible if the thistle part of the flower has begun to form.

SERVES 6

6 Globe artichokes with long stem (wash in salted water)
2 tbspns Parsley chopped (or more if required)
2 white bread slices
3 tbspns Oil
3 tbspns Vinegar
salt, pepper
2 cloves garlic minced (optional)
Remove the bread crust and discard and break the bread into small pieces. Pour the vinegar and oil over the bread and mash together. Add the parsley and seasoning and mix throughly.

Hold the artichokes at the base the bash against a benchtop a couple of times to loosen the leaves. Remove the stems from the artichoke heads at the leaf base. Remove outer portion of the stems to leave the lighter coloured core in the centre.Chop the core finely add to the stuffing mixture.

Take an artichoke and wedge the outer leaves apart and place small spoonfuls of the stuffing mix at various places around the artichoke pushing the mixture down into the base.Drop the completed artichokes into boiling water and cook till an outer leaf can be removed easily.

Note: To eat remove the leaves individually and scrap the inner base of the leaf against the bottom teeth. The outer leaves are quite fibrous so the stuffing adds to the edible volume whereas the inner leaves can be mostly eaten just discarding the outer margins. The treasure is the centre or heart of the artichoke which is consumed whole. I like to leave artichokes to the last to eat because they leave such a nice clean feeling on the palette.

Broadbeans
Country of Origin: Malta

Broadbeans podded and skins slit
1 tbspn Parsley chopped
1 tbspn vinegar
A little oil
1 slice bread shredded
Salt & pepper
Water to cover
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil gently until the beans are cooked through. Outer skin of the bean is discarded when eating or skins may be removed prior to cooking.
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Source: The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook

PREPARATION 35MINS - - COOKING TIME 20MIN - - SERVES 4

Filling1/2 cup (125g) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup finely grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
2 tbspns fresh chopped chives
12 zucchini flowers

Batter
1 cup (125g) plain flour
1 egg lightly beaten
1/4 cup(185ml) iced water
1/4 cup (40g) plain flour
oil for deep frying

Sauce
1 tbspn olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic
425g canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tspn dried oregano

Combine the ricotta, cheddar or mozzarella and chives in a small bowl.Gently open out the zucchini flowers, remove the stamens and spoon in the cheese mixture. Close up the blossoms and twist the ends to seal. Lightly dust with flour.

Batter: Place flour in bowl and make well in centre. Add the egg and water and beat until lump free.Heat oil in large pan until moderately hot. Using tongs dip each blossom in batter then lower into oil. Fry until golden. Drain on paper towel. Serve immediately with tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in a small pan and add the onions. Cook on medium heat until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes & oregano. Bring to boil stirring mixture then simmer for 10 min. Serve hot.

Basic Beetroot
Source: Trial and Error

PREPARATION TIME 24hrs - - COOKING TIME 30-60min

Ingredients
0.6-1kg beetroot (keep plant intact for 24hrs after harvest to allow sugars to migrate to the roots)
Water (to cover)
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup reserved liquid from cooked beetroot
Store beetroot for 24 hrs prior to preparation.

Wash and trim leaving at least 3cm of stem and root. Boil until tender 30min to 1hr depending on size of beetroot. Remove beetroot and put the cooking liquor aside. Let beetroot cool till able to handle and peel removing stem and roots. Slice thinly (or whatever way you want and place in jars.

Take 1 cup of the reserved liquor (ensuring any sediment from the beetroot has settled out). Place in a non-reactive saucepan and add the vinegar and sugar and boil for 5 min. Pour over the beetroot and seal jars.

Note:- Place in refrigerator for up to 1 week. (requires steam preservation to store for longer periods - consult preservation guides for non-acidic foods)