Sunday, March 28, 2010

Artichokes are in Season

Hello artichokes!!!!! I've missed you!
This morning the Brentwood Farmers Market was filled with large artichokes! They are not only delicious but beautiful and really interesting. Sometimes you get lucky with reddish colored flowers towards the center. I wish out artichoke plant grew properly but these are just fine too :) (Also, I am trying to figure out the sunchoke. Will get back to that)

Artichokes are native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean and are made up of the flowers with edible buds and heart or choke. They are eaten and grown everywhere, but cultivated in Sicily during Greek and Roman rule. They are also cultivated in Naples, where artichokes are popularly used in appetizers and entrees.

Today, artichokes are eaten and grown almost everywhere. In the US, they are popularly eaten with butter, lemon juice, hollandaise, or garlic and olive oil. In Italy, artichoke hearts are eaten in oil, alone or to top a pizza. In Spain, artichokes are mixed in paella, sauteed in olive oil, or in a frittata. YUM!

My recipe is for a dipping sauce to accompany a boiled artichoke.

Ginger Garlic Olive Oil
1 tbs fresh peeled ginger
2 garlic cloves peeled
3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

In a a semi heated sauté pan, add olive oil. Before it boils, add garlic and ginger. Let the flavors catch without burning the ginger and garlic. Do this for like 3-4 minuets. Transfer the oil into small dipping bowls (with or without the gingergarlic your preference). Serve this with a boiled artichoke and you will please your guests and yourself with a spicy fresh tasting treat!

And this is how you prepare an artichoke.

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