6 Recipes Taking Advantage of the Spring Artichoke

Artichokes are officially in season, and it’s high time you take advantage of the spring harvest, regardless of whether or not March decides to go out like a lamb as promised. According to WebMD, not only are artichokes packed with antioxidants and fiber, they’re also a good source of folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Many consumers feel intimidated by the artichoke due to its thorny exterior, but the vegetable is easy to enjoy if you understand how to prepare it, and that’s what we’re focusing on today. We’re sharing 6 recipes that showcase the artichoke in all of its glory, so you can pick a few up the next time you’re at the farmers market and know what to do with them.

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1. Artichokes with Roasted Garlic Dip

Our first set of instructions comes from Cooking Light, and this formula yields steamed and prepared artichokes that are paired with an easy garlic dip. The dip is easy to master and easy to eat, and the pungent garlic taste complements the steamed artichokes perfectly. Artichokes with Roasted Garlic Dip is a fun hands-on appetizer to enjoy before the main course, because who said finger foods can’t be sophisticated?

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium artichokes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove white papery skin from garlic heads. Wrap each head separately in foil. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Cut off stems of artichokes, and remove bottom leaves. Trim about ½ inch from tops of artichokes. Place artichokes, stem ends down, in a large Dutch oven filled two-thirds with water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until a leaf near the center of each artichoke pulls out easily. Remove artichokes from pan.

Combine half of garlic pulp and wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Add broth; cook until reduced to ½ cup. Remove from heat; stir in butter and salt. Pour mixture into a blender; add remaining half of garlic pulp. Remove center piece of blender lid; secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Blend until smooth. Sprinkle dip with parsley, if desired. Serve dip with warm artichokes.

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2. Roasted Artichokes

You can also roast your fresh artichokes and eat them after that, because everyone knows the secret to eating vegetables and loving them too, is roasting them. This recipe from Tablespoon serves 1 and enlists 3 main ingredients: artichokes, olive oil, and garlic. Your fibrous side dish will only take 10 minutes of prep time and then it’s off to the oven. One hour later and you’ll have another vitamin-packed dish that is fresh and fun to eat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole artichoke
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves or minced garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Aluminum heavy-duty foil

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off the top 1 to 2 inches of the artichoke and the stem to create a flat base. Spread about 1 tablespoon olive oil on a square of aluminum foil. Place artichoke on foil and spread leaves apart slightly with your fingers. Place garlic cloves or minced garlic between leaves as much as possible. Sprinkle top of artichoke with sea salt, a little bit of lemon juice and a drizzling of more olive oil. Cover completely with aluminum foil and place on a lipped baking sheet to catch any potential drippings.

Bake for about 1 to 1½ hours. Remove artichoke from oven and from foil. Using the pointed edges as your grasping point, scrape the meaty, flat edges of the leaves with your teeth. Keep pulling off leaves until you reach the heart. Using a fork, scrape the hairy top half of the heart off, exposing the meaty center. Spoon the meaty center out of the base and eat it.

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3. Baked Artichokes with Gorgonzola and Herbs

We’ve covered steaming your artichokes and also roasting them, and up next we’re highlighting a recipe that shows you how to bake your thorny veggies. This recipe on Food Network from Giada de Laurentiis is more time-intensive than the other formulas on this list, but the dish the formula yields is also decadent and deserving of your time. Speaking of time, thyme, gorgonzola, cream, and parsley star in this appetizer or side dish alongside artichokes, and garlic also plays a main role.

Ingredients:

  • Salt
  • 4 artichokes
  • 3 lemons, plus 1 lemon
  • 10 ounces mild Gorgonzola cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Trim the artichokes by cutting off the top 1-inch or so. Cut the stem close to the base of the artichoke so the artichoke can sit up straight, and remove some of the bottom leaves. Using kitchen shears, trim the sharp points off of any remaining outer leaves. Add the artichokes to the boiling water. Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice into the boiling water. Toss in the lemons. Cook the artichokes until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the artichokes and let cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together the Gorgonzola, cream, thyme, 2 teaspoons parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.

In another small bowl stir together the bread crumbs and remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley. Remove the center choke of the artichokes using a small spoon. Stuff the cheese mixture into the center of the artichokes. Place the artichokes into a baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the artichokes. Drizzle the tops of the artichokes with olive oil. Bake until the artichokes are heated through, the cheese is melted, and the bread crumbs are crisp and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer the artichokes to a serving dish and serve.

Source: iStock

4. Artichoke Soup

Artichoke Soup from Simply Recipes is next, and unlike other soup recipes, this formula requires that you use fresh artichokes, as the recipe developer explains that frozen artichokes treated in an acidic solution will not work. But now that you know how to prepare artichokes, this recipe is not as intimidating; it calls for 5 fresh artichoke hearts, along with leeks, potatoes, stock, and seasonings. Hunker down and cook this soul-warming soup before spring and summer come full force and soups are out while fresh salads are in.

Ingredients:

  • Hearts from 5 large artichokes
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 medium size leek, white-and-light green parts only, sliced and rinsed
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • 8 ounces of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 12 cups of chicken stock
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs of parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup of cream
  • Salt to taste

Directions: Prepare the artichoke hearts. Peel off the leaves from around the artichokes until you get to the thistly choke in the center. With a small knife, remove the thistle choke part and discard. Cut or peel away the tough outside skin of the stems and discard. You can keep one to two inches of the stem on the artichoke heart. Longer stems you can discard. Slice the hearts or chop to a quarter inch thickness.

Melt the butter in a large, thick-bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the artichoke hears, leek, garlic, and shallots. Cook until tender, but not brown. Add the peeled diced potatoes and the stock. Wrap the herbs and peppercorns in cheesecloth and place in the pot. Increase the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook uncovered, for 1 hour.

After an hour, remove and discard the herbs. Purée the soup and use a rubber spatula to push it through a fine mesh sieve. At this point you can make ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve. When you are ready to serve, heat the soup and stir in the remaining butter and the cream. Season with salt to taste and serve.

Source: iStock

5. Shaved Artichoke Salad with Parsley and Parmesan

Speaking of salads, artichokes also perform well in fresh greenery and this shaved artichoke salad from Whole Living proves it. This salad tosses together artichoke hearts, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and nuts and is delicious just as it is nutritious. It’ll help you transition from your winter comfort food coma to light spring dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 artichoke hearts
  • 2½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts or raw whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons parsley leaves, torn if large

Directions: Halve each artichoke heart lengthwise. Thinly slice the hearts, tossing with 1½ teaspoons lemon juice as you slice. Arrange on a platter, top with Parmesan, and drizzle with olive oil and remaining lemon juice. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to taste. Sprinkle nuts and parsley over the top, and serve immediately.

Source: iStock

6. Artichoke, Olive, and Burrata Pizza

Lastly: pizza. Pizza with artichokes, olives, and burrata to be exact. This is the antioxidant-packed pie of your dreams from Bon Appétit. Burrata is a popular cheese as of late, and it pairs perfectly with salty olives and mild fresh artichoke hearts. This pizza proves that a pie doesn’t have to incorporate meat to be delicious, and with artichokes and burrata packed high on your plate, you won’t even think about chicken or pepperoni.

Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 large artichokes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound prepared pizza dough, room temperature, divided into 4 pieces
  • 2 (8-ounce) balls burrata, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup green olives, pitted, very coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

Directions: Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into a bowl of water. Using a serrated knife, remove outer leaves from artichokes to expose heart. Trim 3 inches from top. Trim stems and remove tough outer layer with a vegetable peeler. Halve artichokes lengthwise and remove choke with a spoon. Dip in lemon water to prevent artichokes from browning. Thinly slice and place in a small bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.

Gently stretch each piece of dough into a 9-inch round and transfer to 2 lightly rimmed oiled baking sheets. Brush with remaining 4 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Top with burrata, olives, artichokes, and rosemary. Bake pizza, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until cheese is melted and bubbly and crust is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Top with lemon zest and season with more pepper.

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