I couldn’t be more excited about this weeks celebration of spring fling! We are cooking up lots of different recipes using artichokes.
Recently I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with baby artichokes. I don’t know if I was living in a cave or what – but when I first discovered them at the farmers market I was thrilled! And then when the farmers told them they are WAY easier to clean than regular artichokes – I was hooked. I am a sucker for a good artichoke – but cleaning them, removing the heart, blah blah blah – it just seems like a lot of work. Well these little baby artichokes are way easier to clean, there is no removal of the artichoke heart and after you peel back a few layers and trim the ends, well, you can eat the whole thing! wooohoo
My favorite way to cook baby artichokes is sautéing them in a little olive oil with lots of garlic, pancetta, lemon zest and lemon juice. They make the perfect side dish as they compliment a variety of proteins and they have tons of flavor.
Let’s take a quick look on how to prep these little morsels of goodness:
First you just need to peel back the few outer layers until you can see the more tender leaves underneath. Gently remove the outer leaves and discard.
Trim the bottom of the artichoke and discard.
Trim the top 1/2 of the artichoke and discard that too! And then when you are done with that you should have a baby artichoke that looks like this!
You can saute them whole like this or cut them in halves or quarters depending on what you fancy!
Now comes the good part! You’re going to crisp up some pancetta and using the fat from the pancetta and a tad bit of olive oil if needed, saute the baby artichokes until they are almost tender! Throw in lots of garlic, lemon zest and juice and add the pancetta back to the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper and…. ta-da… you’re ready to eat!
Spring Fling 2011 is a five-week celebration of all things Spring with Margaret from A Way to Garden, Jaden of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, Shauna and Danny of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, Nicole from Pinch My Salt, some fantastic people from Food Network and Cooking Channel and myself!
Here’s what the rest of the 2011 Spring Fling Schedule looks like:
Weds April 20th: Asparagus
Weds May 4th: Rhubarb
Weds May 18th: Artichokes
Weds June 1st: Strawberries (Bring on the strawberry cocktails – this one’s taking place on my 25th birthday!!)
Weds June 15th: Peas
And the best part about Spring Fling is everyone gets to join in, click around and share your tips and recipes for the fabulous spring produce we are featuring!
So here’s how it works:
Go ahead and leave your tips/recipes/and favorite links in the comments below my Spring Fling post! Then click around to the other collaborators and do the same. Share your love for the recipe everywhere that way everyone gets to see it and join in on the conversation!!
Roberto at Food2: The Art of the Artichoke
Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Artichoke Recipe Roundup
Kirsten at FN Dish: Spring Fling: Artichokes
Dana at Healthy Eats: All About Artichokes
Diane and Todd at White On Rice Couple: Grilled Artichoke Stems
Roberto at Cooking Channel: Artichoke Appetizers
Jaden at Steamy Kitchen: Baby Artichokes with Garlic and Tomatoes