Artichokes as big as your head

If you haven’t noticed from my past blogs, I love all things vegetable.  My favorite is being creative with my veggies (such as making kohlrabi fries or zucchini chips) or using them as a meat replacement in my meals (think zucchini lasagna and portabella sandwiches).

Our ad this week features colossal heirloom artichokes, which got me to thinking…  for how much I love and cook with vegetables, I’ve never cooked with a fresh artichoke.  My past experience with artichokes typically included eating them on pizzas or salads or, of course, in spinach artichoke dip.  But more often, I’m buying the artichokes already cooked.  So I decided to change that last night.

I picked up an heirloom artichoke at our Whitefish Bay Store, and at first glance, I was a little intimidated.  There was a blurb in the ad saying to check out the website  of the company that grows these, Ocean Mist Farms, for resources and recipes.

I very closely followed this video from Ocean Mist Farms on how to prepare an artichoke.  Basically, you just wash, cut and cook– pretty easy.  When it comes to cooking the veggie, there’s no shortage of methods, including: the grill, microwave, crockpot and oven.  To make things easy, I steamed mine in the microwave.  I followed this recipe for Artichips as a guide.  I then pulled off the outer petals, one layer at a time, and  I drizzled olive oil and ranch seasoning on top.

And then came the most unique part– eating them!  You don’t eat the whole petal — instead you’re only looking for the soft portion of it.  I found this website as a good resource for showing this.  You tightly grip an end of the petal, place it in your mouth and pull through your teeth to remove the soft, pulpy portion of the petal. You can then discard the remaining petal.  Who would’ve guessed eating an artichoke was such a process?!  In a way, this reminds me of eating edamame.

Let me know what fun ways you use your heirloom artichokes!

My first time cooking with an artichoke!

Featured, News, Red Bag Insider | March 20th, 2014