Friday, April 15, 2011

Springtime Artichokes - An Easter Treat

I grew up eating strange vegetables like artichokes.  Being from California, they were plentiful come Springtime.  I still can't get enough of them.   The first ones were dipped in melted butter; then came mayonnaise.   Was that the french influence creeping in?    My mother made a great stuffed artichoke with Roquefort and raisin bread.  I need that recipe!  

 When I met my wonderful husband, a whole "new way" of eating came to the table.    Instead of the large artichoke, I was introduced to carciofi,  fried in batter and sprinkled with salt.  As fast as my mother-in-law made them, they would disappear.  When the remains were placed upon the table you had better hurry to get a taste.  With such a large family, those little carciofi went quick!

Several years ago I came up with an easier method to cook these wonderful veggies.  I'm sure they're slightly heathier , too!   Give them a try if you've never had them!  Purchase the small baby artichokes.  Some stores package them 9-12 per container.  Fair warning:  If you have a large family buy more that one package!

Peel the outer leaves down until you see the softer shell.  Cut the stem end off and cut about 1/4-1/2 inch from the top portion.   Take each choke and slice lengthwise into possibly 3 pieces, if not 2.   Have a bowl of lemon water handy to place them in while cutting them all.  This is so they won't get too brown. 

Soaking in the lemon water bath
In a large skillet melt 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Drain and dry the "chokes" and place them in the skillet with a little salt and pepper.  Saute and stir for 10 minutes on medium heat.  Add 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1/2 cup Parmesan (grated)  and 1/4 -1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth.

Almost done!

  Continue to cook and stir for another 10-15 minutes.  Serve with a little more Parmesan topping if you wish.   Mangia!

Just pop them in your mouth as appetizers.  These are also great tossed into  a simple pasta dish!


  1. Throw a little Bruschetta Topping on those and.... watch out!!

  2. Yummmmy! I have 2 big globes in the frig right now..tonight stuffed with rice and sundried tomatoes. I will do your recipe next. Have you ever used the frozen hearts? (sounds sad, doesn't it?) They are closer to the fresh and if you are frying them...maybe I'll give it a try.

  3. Bruschetta? Yum! I've used canned (sin) only for dips and such but not frozen. I'll have to try them. Sometimes it's hard to get the tiny artichokes, here...