Celebrate the 'Choke
We’ve always loved a big platter of warm spinach artichoke dip. All that gooey, melty, deliciousness. We had no idea, nor did we really give two tortilla chips about the origin of the artichoke in the USA. But, we are interested in this little celebration:
Did you say wine and artichokes? Okay!
Did you know that Castroville, CA, is the “Artichoke Center of the World”? Right!?!? We need to road trip and help that town celebrate 60 years of ‘Choke goodness. The festival is set for June 1st and 2nd at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center. There will be live entertainment, a Wine & Beer Garden, cooking demonstrations, tours, arts and crafts, and more! Tickets start at $15.
Now that we’re all hungry, here’s a recipe to for you:
P.S. Kudos to whomever planted the first artichoke shoots in Castroville in 1922.
Oven-Roasted Artichokes with Roasted Garlic Butter
2 large globe artichokes
3 large lemons, 2 juiced, 1 sliced to yield 4 slices
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 whole garlic cloves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 stick salted butter, very soft
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a bowl large enough to accommodate the artichokes when halved with water (about 2 quarts). Add the lemon juice and lemon pieces.
Trim and dry stem end from the bottom of the artichoke. Remove tough outer leaves from the bottom of the artichokes. Trim approximately 1 inch from the top of each artichoke. Trim the tips of each leaf. Watch for the sharp barbs. Cut the artichoke in half from top to bottom. Scoop the fuzzy choke from the center of each artichoke. Immediately immerse in the lemon water.
Drizzle a large baking dish or roasting pan with olive oil. Season artichokes with salt and pepper. Place 3 cloves of garlic in each artichoke, top each with a sprig of thyme and rosemary, then place a lemon slice on each. Carefully flip the artichoke half over so the cut side is facing down. Make sure the garlic is securely inside so that it doesn’t burn. Drizzle with olive oil.
Cover with foil. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until tender. Place the softened butter in a small saucepan. Remove the garlic cloves from the pan and add to the butter. Mash it into the butter, then gently melt the butter. Serve the artichokes with the butter.
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