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Veggie of the Week: Artichokes!

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Old 06-20-2006, 02:33 PM   #1
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I love artichoke hearts and love artichoke type dips so I am very excited tot ry a really honest to goodness artichoke! Thanks so much Laurie!!









mod note: moved post to newest artichoke sticky.. appears out of order ... The Schatzinator
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:31 AM   #2
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Talking Veggie of the Week: Artichokes!

I swore that I posted this last Monday...but I can't find it anywhere. So I'm reposting...PM me if you all saw this last week and I'll post a new one.
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Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program! After a couple weeks off, we’re back to vegetable of the week!

Each week I'll post a new veggie along with information on nutritional value, how to cook it, and at least one recipe using that veggie. Then we can all add on to the thread with our experiences with that veggie, recipes we like, and more! When the week is up, I'll transfer the thread to the FAQ and the recipes to the recipe forum. Remember, if you add a recipe, try to include at least the number of servings and the nutritional information, if you can.
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This Week's Veggie is: Artichokes!



I chose this week’s veggie because I ate one for the first time while on vacation. I’d had artichoke hearts before, several times, but I’d never eaten an actual artichoke. My wonderful ‘foodie’ friend Ange cooked some and showed me how to prepare and eat them. We actually dipped them in mayonnaise (I know…it sounds gross, but it was really good!)—not the best thing, but hey, I was on vacation! I think they’d be delicious in a ton of different things, from a yogurt-based dip to an SBD-approved ranch dressing. You could also try just dipping them in a balsamic vinegar/olive oil mix.

Not only are these veggies delicious (they have a buttery, smooth taste and texture), but they make a great appetizer and fun dish to share with friends. Like a much healthier version of, say, an awesome blossom. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!


Quote:
From Cooking A to Z by the California Culinary Academy:

Artichoke
A Mediterranean native, the artichoke was introduced to the New World by French settlers in Louisiana and, later, by Spanish settlers in California. The edible parts of this tall plant are the green, globelike buds, which give the most commonly available variety its name—Green Globe. Small young buds about the size of a large walnut are tender enough when cooked to eat whole. Large mature buds develop a fuzzy interior choke that must be removed. The Jerusalem artichoke resembles the regular artichoke in flavor but is a member of the sunflower family.

Use
Whole cooked artichokes are eaten hot, lukewarm, or chilled, most often with a dipping sauce. Hot artichokes are most often accompanied by melted butter; lukewarm or chilled artichokes by a mayonnaise or vinaigrette. Large artichokes can be filled with seafood or bread-crumb stuffings. Whole bottoms can be stuffed and baked or garnished with poached eggs. When sliced and sautéed, the bottoms can be used as a garnish for pasta, pizza or omelets. Small artichokes can be fried whole, pickled, or steamed and marinated for a salad garnish. Steamed and halved, small artichokes can be added to braised chicken, veal, lamb, or seafood dishes.

Availability
They are sold fresh, canned, marinated, or frozen. Fresh artichokes are generally available year around, but late fall and early spring are peak harvest times. Bottoms and hearts are available in cans or marinated in jars; artichoke hearts are available frozen.

Selection
Look for compact, heavy, plump globes that yield slightly to pressure and have large, tightly clinging, fleshy green leaf scales. Avoid browning (indicates old age, injury, or frost) and light weight.

Storage
Refrigerate fresh artichokes in a plastic bag for up to four days.

Preparing Whole Artichokes
Trim off thorny tips of outer leaves with scissors or paring knife. Snap or cut off smallest, toughest leaves close to stem. Rub freshly cut parts with lemon to prevent discoloration. Slice stem off to form a flat bottom. Set artichoke, stem side down, on a steamer above at least 1 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam until bases are tender (30 to 60 minutes, depending on size).

Eating
Eating artichokes is an informal affair; there is no substitute for fingers. Pull off leaves one at a time, dip into sauce, and use your teeth to scrape off meat inside the base of each leaf. Discard small, fibrous heart leaves and cut out fuzzy choke. Eat base with knife and fork, dipping chunks into sauce. Have available plenty of napkins and a large bowl for discarding leaves.

More information on Artichokes:

Great site full of tons of information on artichokes...nutritional info, recipes, links to other artichoke sites, and more!

Great recipes from artichokes.org--you may find the main site just as helpful!

Good basic information from Produce Oasis about artichokes.



Other information on Veggies:

Better Homes and Gardens Slide Show on using spring vegetables, including recipes and info on veggies

FAQ for the 5-a-day program on Fruits and Veggies

Tips on Fruits and Veggies from the CDC

Vegetables: How to cook, serve, and store these healthy foods from Mayo Clinic


Recipes:
Grilled Artichokes This takes a bit of time but sounds worth the wait.

Artichoke with Zucchini Saute Only Phase 2 if you use the dry white wine and/or butter...this recipe sounds delicious!
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:10 PM   #3
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Sweep, Sweep, Sweep...You know me... and my housekeeping chores! .. I moved it to under the Recipe section: STickied...but I guess I forgot to leave a "forward" to point folks there.......

Ok, I moved this thread to the Recipe section, with a forward/pointer from the Daily...moved Batmoms post on the original Artichoke post to here...

So... Everything is okeydokey artichokey
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:53 PM   #4
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artichokes are the best. I use mayo, yellow mustard, and lemon juice for a tangy dip. And considering there is no meausring, it's to your own taste, it's super easy to make and most people have those items anyhow (tastes good even without the lemon juice, but not as tangy).
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Old 07-03-2006, 04:36 PM   #5
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I must have done it wrong because I thought they were awful. I tried to steam them for the first time yesterday...I couldn't figure out what part of it I was supposed to eat?

I tried to pick tear off the leaves and scrape off the underside on my teeth but nothing came off...did I just get some bad artichokes? Or did I do something wrong?

thanks!
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