Artichokes: My Favourite Vegetable

Septmeber 7th, 2009 016 In my last years of University, I spent a Summer in Santa Cruz, California. Just South of there is a town called Castroville, California and it is the home of the big ARTICHOKE and the Artichoke Festival!!!

It was there and then that I tried my first fresh Artichoke and I have been enamoured with the vegetable ever since. We eat them fresh as often as we can because they are very high in anti-oxidants, low in fat (except for the butter or Mayo that they are dipped in) and are great fun to eat. They are a very social vegetables because they take time to consume and you have to be somewhat careful. Try preparing them split, steamed and grill them on the BBQ before serving.

A week ago we had ten people over for dinner. I searched far and wide to find large Artichokes (California) rather than the smaller grown local kind. I hit all the markets and supermarkets before I ended up at Whole Foods Market where I purchased 10 of them. I did all my research on the Internet to find the best way to cut, steam and serve them as well as some videos on what to do with them. 

http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blartichokes.htm or http://www.oceanmist.com/products/artichokes/artichoke.aspx

When we served them for dinner they were a big hit. Of the 10 worldly guests, only 6 of them had ever had them fresh, and I was led to believe that they have become converts. If  life is really boring or you are a fan of fresh Artichokes, I would check out the sites above. Pick up some tips and get dipping! You will not be disappointed! YUM!

4 Responses

  1. BENJEMIN WAYAN

    Richard what is your recipe for the mayo dip you use..

    What do you recommend as a main course with the artichokes.. that made it so special with your
    guests… Thanks Richard we know that Benoit and
    you are great chefs

  2. Richard Silver Post author

    We cheated and just added some fresh crushed garlic to the mayo….very easy…

    We served it before the dinner…as a pre to cedar-planked Salmon and a cous cous salad…

    It will go with anything though…those sites however have everything in them as well as dips. BTW. They say not to serve White Wine with them…

    Enjoy!

  3. Jerry England

    I suggest you try Jerusalem Artichokes – I saw some in the Farmer’s Market in Milton last week so they are likely available at St. Lawrence Market. Quite a delicacy………if I recall Jamie Oliver has a great recipe. As a root type vegetable they are an acquired taste. Next to a regular, voluptuous artichoke or a bunch of vibrant, green asparagus, Jerusalem Artichokes don’t stand much of a chance. They’re not particularly beautiful, resembling a gnarly version of a fingerling potato, and they’re always covered with a thin layer of dirt. Not much to look at. For the gourmet chef – worth a try!

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