If you’re someone who is immediately drawn to the artichoke appetizer on restaurant menus because it’s light and healthy and relatively low calorie compared to everything else, I think you’ll appreciate how easy it is to make artichokes at home and enjoy them for all the same reasons. The artichoke growing capital of the U.S. is located in Castroville, CA – very close to College Girl’s now alma mater, UC Santa Cruz. I’ve driven by there so many times and every time I would think to myself that I really should cook artichokes more often. If you’re not entirely certain how to select an artichoke or prepare them or cook them, or even eat them, this short video from Frieda’s Specialty Produce can help.
These may not look like the normal green Globe artichokes you see in the market because they’re actually two unique varieties grown in California. Frieda’s sent me two Sangria and two Fiore Viola Artichokes to try and with these beauties as inspiration, I think I’ve overcome my uncertainty about artichokes…especially after achieving fantastic results when cooking them in my new Hamilton Beach slow cooker – my first with a locking lid and timer. Love. Now if only the weather would cool down to temps that invite comfort food like chili, soups, stews and braised meats!
The Sangrias are a beautiful large artichoke variety with deep burgundy red leaves and a slightly pointed shape. They have consistently meaty leaves and a distinct, nutty artichoke flavor. Fiore Violas are a large artichoke variety with rich purple leaves and a round, globe-like shape. They have consistently meaty leaves and a sweet artichoke flavor. Both the Sangrias and Fiore Violas are grown in California from a proprietary new seed variety and we are available September through October, and April through May.
SELECT: pick up the artichoke, you are looking for those that feel the heaviest and firmest. Regular Globe artichokes should have a healthy green color with compact center leaves and an overall look of freshness (not dehydrated).
PREPARE: rinse artichokes, trim 1 inch off the top of the artichoke, then trim half inch off the bottom stem. Slightly spread open the petals. Place in water with lemon juice to prevent browning before cooking. Very versatile, artichokes can be steamed, grilled, roasted or slow cooked, then serve with dipping sauces such as mayonnaise, butter, or balsamic vinegar. After enjoying the leaves, scoop out the fuzzy center “choke” prior to eating the inner heart.
HEALTHY: Artichokes are an excellent source of fiber. Good source of vitamin C and rich in folate. Naturally low in calories.
- 4 artichokes, rinsed and trimmed
- juice from one lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, slivered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup of white wine*
- Spread open petals of each artichoke for seasoning and to promote faster cooking. Add the white wine to the slow cooker and place the artichokes inside. Four medium artichokes should fit snugly.
- Place slivers of garlic between the petals of each artichoke then drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
- Set the slow cooker on high setting and cover with lid. Cook for 3 hours. 4 hours for extra large artichokes.
- Remove and allow to cool before serving.
I served these with a Romesco sauce of grilled, peeled mini peppers processed with almonds, parsley, lemon juice and spices.
Calories 156; Fiber 7g; Fat 7 g; Protein 4g; Carbs 16 g. Balanced, High Fiber, Low Sodium, Sugar Conscious, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Dairy Free, Gluten Free.
Nutritional Analysis by Edamam.