These Steamed Artichokes are an awesome start to any meal as well as a satisfying meal all their own! The Tomato Salsa Verde is the perfect match for artichokes and it’s also amazing served hot with some crusty sourdough bread to slather it up with.
Did you know that artichokes are actually the buds of a purple flower and they can grow over 3 feet tall? I happen to live very close to artichoke land in California where most of the artichokes are grown. The Spanish settlers brought the artichoke to California and in the early 1920’s California grew its first artichoke fields just south of San Francisco near Half Moon Bay.
I have always loved artichokes for as long as I can remember. My mom uses to make them for me all the time. At the time I wasn’t very fond of the hearts but I sure can’t get enough now. Normally I prefer my artichoke with melted butter but this sauce is a game changer, trust me you won’t be able to get enough!
These are excellent with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a Sancerre (made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes in France).
It is also great with an unoaked Chardonnay!
- 2 Large Artichokes
- 1/2 Cup(about 1) Tomato – minced
- 1/4 Cup Asiago Cheese – finely shredded
- 1/4 Cup Parsley – minced
- 1/2 Cup Basil – minced
- 3 Tablespoons Chives – minced
- 2 Tablespoons Mint (optional) – minced
- 1 Tablespoon Capers – roughly chopped
- 2 Garlic – minced
- 1 Shallots – minced
- 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
- 1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Zest – micro planed
- 1/4 Cup+ 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons White Wine Vinegar or to taste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Peppers
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
Cut off the stem and about 1 1/2 inches of the top, then with scissors cut the tips of each leaf.
Place them in a large pot of boiling water and place a wet towel on top to keep them wet and immersed during cooking.
Boil for about 35 – 50 minutes, depending on the size. Don’t cover or they can become bitter. Test a leaf to see if it’s ready, it should pull out easily. You don’t want to over cook.
While artichokes are cooking make the sauce
Mince the tomato in to tiny pieces, finely shred the Asiago, coarsely chop herbs and capers, mince the shallots, chop garlic very fine, with a lemon juicer juice the lemon, measure and add to a medium sized bowl.
Measure and add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper then mix well. Let sit a bit to incorporate flavors
I often make a double batch of sauce to enjoy later with a nice loaf of bread!
Serve them on a plate and slightly spread the leaves apart and drizzle some sauce on top. The sauce will go inside the leaves so when you eat it there will be sauce already for you. You can also just serve the sauce on the side, it it less messy that way.
Artichokes are a rich source of dietary fiber, which is great for the colon and heart. The bitter compounds contribute to cholesterol reduction in the blood. They contain good amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin-C and other anti-oxidants that protect the body from harmful free radical. It is also rich in B-complex group. They are one of the vegetable sources of vitamin K that is good for bone and brain health. Artichokes have a powerful liver protectant called flavonoid silymarin making it a powerful detoxifier.