The artichoke is a beauty. It may vary in color from honeydew to olive tinged with violet and mulberry. Its shape fluctuates from that of a cone to a perfectly round globe. The first artichoke of the spring is often bound into bunches, still attached to its stem with long languid leaves. The artichoke makes for a perfect table setting when put in a mason jar half-filled with water. Eventually it will open and display an intensely magenta thistle.
The best thing about the artichoke are its leaves, particularly when steamed with lemon and served warm in a bowl with olive oil.