Artichokes are one of those foods that you either love or hate. There’s no in-between. If you’re one of the people who love artichokes, you might be wondering when they’re in season. Well, my dear friend, wonder no more! We’ve already discussed that Artichokes are Awesome, so now we will talk about the when!
The Low-Down on Artichokes
First, let’s talk about what an artichoke actually is. Artichokes are a type of thistle that are commonly grown for their edible flower buds. The most common variety is the globe artichoke, which is what you’ll find in most grocery stores. These hearty vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, making them a great addition to any healthy diet.
The (Art)ichoke of Timing
Now, onto the important question: when are artichokes in season? The answer, my friends, is that it depends on where you live. Artichokes are a seasonal crop, which means that they are only available during certain times of the year. In the United States, the peak season for artichokes is from March to May, with a smaller harvest in the fall. However, if you live in a warmer climate, like California or the Mediterranean region, you may be able to find fresh artichokes year-round.
The (Art)ichoke of Picking
So, you’ve decided to give artichokes a try. Congratulations! Now, how do you choose the perfect one? When picking artichokes, look for ones that are firm and heavy for their size. The leaves should be tightly packed and a vibrant green color. Avoid any that have brown spots or are starting to turn yellow.
The (Art)ichoke of Preparation
Preparing artichokes can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before. But fear not! It’s actually quite simple. First, rinse the artichoke under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, using a sharp knife, cut off the top third of the artichoke and trim the stem to about an inch long. Next, use kitchen shears to snip off the sharp tips of the remaining leaves. Finally, use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer layer of the stem.
The (Art)ichoke of Cooking
Now that your artichoke is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to cook it. There are a variety of ways to prepare artichokes, but one of the most popular is steaming. To steam an artichoke, place it in a pot with about an inch of water and steam for 30-45 minutes, or until the leaves can be easily pulled off. Once your artichoke is cooked, it’s time to enjoy! Dip the leaves in melted butter or aioli, and use your teeth to scrape off the soft flesh. Once you’ve eaten all the leaves, you’ll be left with the heart of the artichoke, which is the most tender and delicious part. Cut it into bite-sized pieces and enjoy!