April Super Food- Artichoke

For the month of April, we will be focusing like Artichokes:

  • Did you know that artichokes we eat are actually the buds of a purple flower that can be greater than 3 feet tall? It has a tough exterior, however when prepared appropriately can provide nutritious health benefits.
  • This vegetable is native to the Mediterranean. The state with the largest production in the united states is California. Castroville, California proclaims itself to be "The Artichoke Center of the World", and holds the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival
  • Artichokes are a good source of dietary fiber, folate, vitamins A & C. They are also considered a food that is high in antioxidants which can prevent against cellular damange to your body. One artichoke contains 59 calories, 462 mg of potassium, 6.8 gm of fiber, 4.1 gm of protein and 13 grams of total carbohydrate.

Recipes

Grilled Artichokes

Ingredients

  • 2 Lemons
  • 4 Large Artichokes (3-3 ½ pounds)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. To prepare artichokes: Fill a Dutch oven with water; add the juice of 1 lemon. T rim leaves from the top of an artichoke. Remove the outer layer(s) of leaves from the stem end and snip all remaining spiky tips from the outer leaves. Trim an inch off the bottom of the stem and use a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous outer later. As each artichoke is prepared, drop it into the lemon water to prevent it from turning brown.
  2. When all the artichokes are prepared, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Boil until the base of the stem can be pierces with a fork, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Slice the artichokes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the choke and first few inner layers in the center until the bottom is revealed. Brush each half with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the artichokes until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter, squeeze half a lemon over them and garnish with the remaining lemon half cut into 4 wedges. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Artichoke Salsa

Ingredients

  • 6.5 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained chopped, but reserve 2 Tablespoons marinade
  • ½ cup black olives, sliced
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons capers
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving