In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring: Local Artichokes

Working with Artichokes

Once they’re prepped, artichokes can be used for a variety of dishes in a variety of ways. See the pictures for a step-by-step visual.

  • Rinse under cold water.
  • How to 1 IMG_9544_E_smRemove lower, small and discolored leaves.

 

 

 

 

  • How to 2 IMG_9546_E_smAbout the stems: The stems are edible, but artichokes look best with the stem cut off so they can sit up straight. Use a knife or vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of the stem, then steam or boil for use in an omelet, frittata or as a veggie on the side with a whole grain dish.

 

 

  • How to 3 IMG_9561_E_smCut off the top 1/4 of the artichoke and use scissors to trim off any remaining thorny tips from artichoke.

 

 

 

 

How to 4 IMG_9564_E_sm

 

 

 

 

 

  • How to 5 IMG_9565_E_smEither rub all cut surfaces with a lemon or keep the trimmed artichokes in acidulated water (1 tablespoon lemon juice per quart of water) until time to cook. This keeps them from browning.

 

 

 

  • How to 6 IMG_9583_E_smIf the recipe calls for halving the artichoke and removing the fuzzy choke, do so by slicing in half from top to bottom and then use a spoon to scoop out the fuzzy center; also remove any inner purple leaves.

 

 

  • Cook as directed or desired, but not in aluminum or cast iron pots a chemical reaction causes discoloration.
  • Eat the tender portion at the bottom of each leaf (by scraping it off between your teeth), the cup/heart and even the soft interior leaves. The fuzzy interior choke is inedible.

 

Steamed Artichokes with an Oregano-Garlic Infused Dipping Oil

Artichokes can be dressed up, but sometimes they’re best simply served. Heirloom artichokes have a nuttier, richer flavor that shines through when dipped in our garlic oil. Serves 1 to 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh, locally grown heirloom artichoke
  • 1/2 a fresh lemon, divided
  • 1/3 cup Sigona’s Garlic Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 dried oregano, rubbed well to release the oils which enhances the flavor

Directions: Prepare the artichokes by removing the smaller, outer and tougher leaves. Trim off the stem so the artichoke will sit upright. Cut off the top fourth of the artichoke and then use scissors to cut off any remaining sharp tips from the remaining leaves. You can either steam the artichoke whole or slice it in half to steam. If slicing in half, use a spoon to scoop out the fuzzy choke, also removing any purple leaves. Rub all cut edges and the hulled middle with a 1/4 slice of lemon.

Steam artichokes, top down, in a steamer basket over boiling water with the remaining 1/4 of a lemon for at least 20 to 30 minutes or until a leaf can be easily pulled off and the heart can be easily pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano over low heat until the salt dissolves. Pour the oil into a small bowl and serve with the steamed artichoke.

 

Beef & Artichoke Stew

This is no ordinary beef stew, but it’s still as comforting as ever. The artichokes and kalamata olives give this a bit of a Mediterranean twist that could make this dish part of your usual chilly-weather stew rotation. Recipe courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering. Time: 2 hours. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. beef stew meat
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch (or alternative/preferred thickening agent, such as arrowroot, flour, etc.)
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
  • A handful baby tomatoes, quartered (any tomato will do)
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 fresh heirloom artichoke hearts, quartered, choke discarded and then steamed with 1/2 a lemon for about 30 minutes or until tender*
  • 6 to 8 mushrooms, quartered & sautéed in a little butter
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata black olives
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

Directions: Begin by preparing the artichokes and mushrooms as directed above.

Season beef with salt and pepper. Shake in a plastic bag with the cornstarch. Remove from bag and brown in oil on all sides in Dutch oven over med-high heat.

Add onion and sauté until soft. Add oregano, carrots, tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Bring to a boil, cover and then lower heat to simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours, add the steamed artichoke hearts and sautéed mushrooms. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings if needed. Simmer, covered, for one more hour.

Add olives at the very end of cooking, along with most of the parsley. Ladle stew into shallow bowls and garnish with remaining parsley.

*If a recipe calls for artichoke hearts, prepare the artichoke before steaming by removing all the leaves and saving them for another time. Slice the remaining cup in half top to bottom and then use a spoon to scoop out the fuzzy center.

 

Artichokes on the Grill

If you plan on grilling some meat as an entree, you might as well grill up some artichokes while you’re at it. You can prep and steam artichokes while you take the chill off any meat you plan to grill. Serves 3 to 6.

Artichokes on the grill IMG_9595_E_smIngredients:

Directions: Prepare the artichokes by removing the smaller, outer and discolored leaves. Trim off the stem so the artichoke will sit upright. Cut the top fourth off of the artichoke and then use scissors to cut off any remaining sharp tips. Slice the artichokes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the fuzzy choke, also removing any purple leaves. Rub all cut edges and the hulled middle with lemon wedges.

Steam artichokes in a steamer basket over boiling water for at least 20 minutes, more if the artichokes are quite large. They are done when the heart can be easily pierced with a knife. They’ll cook further on the grill.

Prepare a grill over medium-high heat. Lightly brush the artichokes all over with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the artichokes on the grill, cut side down. Grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nice grill marks appear on the cut sides of the artichokes.

Serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite dipping sauce.

 

Artichoke and Mushroom Frittata with Pastured Eggs and Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Frittatas are great for any meal and come together in a snap. You can add or remove any veggies you like; asparagus makes a nice addition, as does bell pepper. Serves 6 to 8.

artichoke and mushroom frittata IMG_9617_E_smIngredients:

  • 3 locally grown artichokes
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, such as cremini/baby bellas
  • 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil (such as Hojiblanca)
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 eggs, such as our pastured eggs from Marin Sun Farms (you can do 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites, if desired)
  • A splash of milk, optional
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar, divided (such as Wisconsin 5-year Aged)

Directions: Remove the stem from the artichokes and peel off the outer later from the stem with a knife or vegetable peeler. Par (trim) down the artichokes to the cups – this means peel off all the leaves and cut out the fuzzy choke so all you’re left with is the heart. Save the leaves for another time (you can boil them along with the hearts to serve with dip later).

Cook the hearts and stems of the artichokes in boiling water for about 10 to15 minutes. Remove and cool. Then chop into smaller 1- to 2-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs, incorporating half of the cheese and all the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Beat in a splash of milk, if desired. Set aside.

Over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and diced artichokes and mushrooms. Stir constantly for several minutes to let all the flavors come together.

Remove from heat and incorporate the eggs. Working quickly, pour egg and artichoke mix into a lightly greased pie or frittata dish.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake at 325°F for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temp.

 

Lemon Braised Artichokes

You’ll swoon over the flavors of these artichokes. Really! The artichokes are infused with fantastic flavor from simmering in the stock, and the sauce that’s made from reducing the remaining stock with a bit of lemon juice and zest is superb. You might want to eat the artichokes all yourself. Adapted from NY Times. Serves 6.

Lemon braised artichokes IMG_9602_E_smIngredients:

  • 3 locally grown artichokes
  • 3 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil, such as Hojiblanca
  • 1 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chicken stock, more as needed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Zest and one juice of 1 medium lemon

Directions: Prepare the artichokes by removing the smaller, outer and discolored leaves. Trim off the stem so the artichoke will sit upright. Cut off the top fourth of the artichokes and then use scissors to cut off any sharp tips remaining. Slice the artichokes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the fuzzy choke, also removing any purple leaves.

Warm the olive oil very large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add artichokes cut side down. Cook until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add stock (it should come about halfway up the sides of the artichokes), bring to a boil, cover; turn heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes or until tender, checking every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure there is enough liquid in the pan, adding more stock as necessary.

Sprinkle artichokes with salt and pepper and then, leaving liquid in the skillet, transfer the artichokes to a serving platter; set aside.

Raise heat for the skillet to medium-high and cook the stock, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to sauce. Stir in lemon zest, juice and butter; taste and adjust seasoning. Serve artichokes drizzled with sauce.

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