Baked Baby Artichokes

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Baby Artichokes

It’s not only asparagus season, it’s artichoke season — my second favorite vegetable. The world center for artichokes (at least in terms of production) is Castroville, California. Sadly, I never made it to the Artichoke Festival. I don’t recall why.

Like asparagus, the best produce is apparently shipped out of state. At least it was no easier to find excellent artichokes in grocery stores in Sacramento than it was any other high-quality produce. I do recall one winter, though, when there was a freeze in Castroville and the stores were flooded with ugly brown artichokes — the sort of thing I would ordinarily turn my nose up at — except I knew they were just frost damaged on the outside (not old) and they were about 25 cents each. I bought a dozen, tossed all the leaves, and feasted on fresh artichoke hearts.

What California did have that I hadn’t seen anywhere else were baby artichokes. I first had baby ‘chokes in Spain where I’d sautéed them in olive oil with garlic and fresh herbs. Yumm. So I enjoyed having access to them. And then I moved back to Tennessee and found them (in season) at Fresh Market (a regional version of Whole Foods). A couple of days ago I picked up a package and found this recipe for Baked Baby Artichokes. Delicious!

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6 Responses to “Baked Baby Artichokes”

  1. Julie Says:

    Artichokes are my favorite vegetable and this looks like a delicious way to cook them.

  2. Sarah Caron Says:

    So what’s the deal with baby artichokes? I have seen them around here but wasn’t sure what to do with them. Can they be eaten whole? are there stringy centers to dig out like their adult counterpart? Sounds yummy, either way.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Sarah,Pull off the outer leaves until you reach the yellow leaves in the center (they should be yellow for about half their length). Then cut off the portion above the yellow.They usually don’t have a choke (the thistle part) and so can be eaten whole, except that I always find one or two that have a small choke so I cut them in half and remove it if it’s present.

  4. Richmond Says:

    Oh yummy! I love artichokes!! I can never find the “baby” ones around here, though. I’ll have to modify the recipe and use big ones.And asparagus grows wild where I grew up – love it too. Actually had some grilled asparagus today for lunch. 🙂

  5. Sue | Cater Says:

    Hi there Kevin, this site was recommend to me by a friend who raved about it as it has it had some great and different recipes, and I would have agree with her, I love artichokes and the only way that I have ever made them is by boiling them till soft and smothering them in melted butter so when I saw this I was like wow, so I can’t wait to try this out. Thanks for a great recipe.

  6. Kevin Says:

    Sue,
    Welcom to SG! This is a really good recipe if you can find baby artichokes.

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