It’s artichoke season!

We have a serious thing for artichokes. There’s  just something about that sort-of sweet, sort-of nutty flavor that has us hooked. And the artichoke is more versatile than you may think.

What got us thinking about artichokes (did you know it’s a type of thistle?) was the annual Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival, being held May 30-31. Castroville, CA is a small town on Monterrey Bay, about 50 miles south of San Jose, and it produces 75%choke of the country’s artichokes and 95% of the prized Heirloom Artichoke.

Did you know that artichokes are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat? They are low in calories and loaded with fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium and magnesium. They’re also loaded with antioxidants—in fact, the Department of Agriculture ranks them #1 among all vegetables for antioxidant count. They really are a superfood.

Sure, for many artichoke newcomers, they can be a bit daunting to prepare and eat. But once you get the hang of it, they’re quite simple. These videos here [we will embed if possible] will show you how to steam and eat an artichoke:

 Steaming an ArtichokeCapture

Eating an Artichoke

While this is the simplest way to prepare and eat an artichoke (and our favorite), they’re actually very versatile. One of our best meals was at a small restaurant in Pienza, Italy (Ristorante Dal Falco), where we had a delectable carciofo fritto (fried artichoke). Another option is this yummy Cream of Roasted Artichoke Soup.

Fried artichokes
Carciofi Fritti (fried artichokes)

Check out Ocean Mist Farms for a wealth of artichoke recipes.

 So get yourself an artichoke or two today and start enjoying their heavenly goodness. Start with a simple steamed artichoke—sometimes, simpler is better!

Don’t feel like cooking or can’t make it to Castroville? Here are our favorite items with artichoke as the star:

Roasted Artichoke Cups

Artichoke Leek Lasagna

Artichoke Gruyere Dip

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