My favorite spring vegetable: The Artichoke

One of my favorite spring vegetables is the artichokewhich was recently dubbed the state vegetable of California! If I go to a restaurant that has freshly prepared artichokes as an appetizer, I cannot resist ordering one. I especially like the large green artichokes steamed. Dipping the leaves in a little butter or mayonnaise makes it extra delicious. Yum!

So, when I was walking by our test kitchen earlier this week, and overheard our marketing team buzzing about a BABY artichoke recipe, I had to try it.

Have you ever seen a baby artichoke? Here’s a photo of my new favorite, our Fiesole (fee-eh-so-lay) Baby Purple Artichokes. We have been selling them for years, but recently launched a campaign to introduce them to more consumers nationwide.

I was excited to taste the baby choke recipe the team was preparing, since I have never personally cooked with them. It turns out the recipe was a Raw Artichoke Salad, which includes thinly sliced, raw baby artichokes and arugula, my favorite peppery salad green.

Check out the recipe they used from the New York Times:

Raw Artichoke Salad 
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
• 4 baby artichokes
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 small garlic clove, smashed to a paste, optional
• Salt and pepper
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 handfuls arugula
 • Parmesan, for garnish

Preparation
 1. Remove dark tough exterior leaves from artichokes. Trim stem end and cut off top of each artichoke. Slice artichokes as thinly as possible and place in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and garlic, if using. Season well with salt and pepper, add olive oil and toss to coat.

2. Put arugula in a shallow bowl or on a platter. Spoon artichokes over greens. Garnish with a few shavings of Parmesan.

Not the most glamorous photo, but it was DELICIOUS!

So, give this recipe a try next time you are looking for a delicious and easy salad to make, and want to try those cute Fiesole Baby Purple Artichokes. They are available almost year-round, but right now is their peak season.

Bon Appétit!

Karen

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