Are you totally over winter? I am. By the end of it I am 100% ready to move on to warmer weather and cook up some fresh eats that are all about spring! Even though we are lucky enough to purchase produce year round thanks to frozen, canned, or dried products, there’s something special about fresh, seasonal produce. So what’s in season during springtime? Lots! Here’s a list!
In honor of spring, let’s talk more about the Artichoke.
Photo credit: http://www.delallo.com
They are nutritious, versatile for the cook, and are literally a flower bud (How’s that for in season?)! First things first, how the heck do you pick a good artichoke? It’s easy! Just choose artichokes with plump heads and tightly closed leaves. As for storage, they can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Are there any health benefits? Yes! They are low in calories, low in sodium, and a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, and magnesium. Check out how well artichokes fit into recipes! Fruits and Veggies More Matters has a great Top Ten Ways to Enjoy Artichokes list. From grilling to stuffing, or just microwaving, artichokes really want a place on your plate and at your table.
How do you prep an artichoke? Well, lucky for us Michael Marks, aka the Produce Man and marketer for FreshPoint, Inc., shows us in this short video.
Test your artichoke skills with this Roasted Herbed Artichoke with Leeks appetizer recipe from Fruits and Veggies More Matters. It’s sure to please.
Photo Credit: http://pinchmysalt.com
Serves 6, Serving Size 1 Artichoke
Prep Time 1 hour
- 6 medium to large artichokes
- 1/3 lemon juice or white wine vinegar, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 medium leeks, trimmed, cleaned and sliced
- ½ cup each chopped fresh basil, mint and Italian parsley
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Rinse artichokes, trim off and discard ends of stems and top third of petals. Cut stems off at base and set aside. Stand artichokes stem side down in large saucepot and add water to fill pot almost halfway. Add reserved stems, 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Simmer, covered, until a petal pulls out easily (30-35 minutes). Drain and cool slightly. Chop cooked stems and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add leeks and cook until tender (7 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in chopped stems, herbs, salt and pepper. Using spoon, remove and discard fuzzy center of artichokes. Sprinkle remaining vinegar into center of artichokes. Divide leek-herb mixture among artichoke cups. Stand in 9×9 inch pan or baking dish and brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Bake 10 minutes.
- To eat, pull off outer petals and dip bases into herb mixture in center of artichokes, then cut the heart into bite-size pieces.
Don’t forget! You only want to eat the fleshy base part of the petals which you can pull off one by one after cooking. Do this by pulling the (bottom side of the) petal through your teeth to be able to eat the soft portion of the petal. Put the rest in your garden compost pile if you have one!
Total fat 7.2 g
Saturated fat 1 g
% Calories from fat 32%
Protein 8 g
Carbohydrates 27 g
Dietary fiber 11 g
Sodium 459 mg
Written by Danielle Sobieski, CT Dietetic student, reviewed by Kate Wilson, RD, CDN.