- Sharon A
My local pork store (A+S--which is a branch of the one
in Bklyn, if I'm not mistaken) has what they call long-
stem artichokes, which indeed have long stems, as well
as a narrow, smaller bulb/bud (or whatever that part
is called). They are incredibly flavorful--the
experience is kind of like drinking good wine: the
flavor grows and changes in your mouth as you chew and
swallow. After eating just one, I became totally
addicted and want more more more. The A+S guys say
they've got the only such artichokes in the Western
Hemisphere, which I tend to doubt. Have any of you
seen them in stores?
They may well be right that their artichokes are
unique. They sound like a southern European variety.
There are three or four varieties of artichoke grown in
Europe and North Africa which simply aren't available
here. I don't know why. The European varieties tend
to be smaller and thinner, with more tender leaves and
a smaller heart. That last bit may be the key: Most of
the market for artichokes in this country is processed
food that just uses the heart. Too bad, because the
Italians and French do amazing things with their
varieties. You can slice them and eat them raw as a
salad, or stuff them with herbs and garlic and bake
them in olive oil and then eat the whole thing.
So where is this store of yours?
re: Josh Mittleman
Could you pass along a recipe for baked artichokes with
herbs and garlic? sounds delicious. I've always simply
steamed/boiled artichokes and served them with melted
butter, lemon, garlic, but recently I've been searching
for alternative recipes that don't require dairy, such
as braised artichokes etc. Any approx directions would
be much appreciated.
The cookbook "Cucina Fresca" by Viana LaPlace and Evan
Kleinman (from Caffe Angeli in L.A.), has several
tasty artichoke alternatives, including a light bread
stuffing. The "Roman Style", braised with good olive
oil, garlic and lots of fresh mint is heavenly. At
home when I steam, I make a thin vinaigrette with lots
of minced garlic and pour over and into the leaves.
The 'chokes usually have enough flavor to be enjoyed
without any butter.
Heidi has it basically right: Remove the inedible bits
of the artichoke. Depending on what kind you have, that
may mean just trimming the tips of the leaves, or it
may mean stripping away all the dark, tough leaves,
trimming the tips of the rest, and digging out the
choke. Take mint, parsley, garlic, and olive oil; chop
it fine or even puree it into a paste, and stuff it
into every crevasse of the artichoke. Put them in a
dish (traditionally, standing upright) and pour in
enough olive oil to half-cover them. Them bake until
Two caveats: The only recipe I have for this dish is
really vague. And I haven't gotten it come out right
yet, probably because I was using American artichokes
and haven't figured out how to adapt the recipe. I'm
If you can find a good Roman-style Italian cookbook, it
will certainly have this recipe, either as Carciofi
alla Romana, or "Upright Artichokes" (for which I don't
recall the Italian).
I've been using the big California
globe 'chokes....braising them with
leeks is good:
break off tough outer leaves, slice
of top (down to the pointy ends of
the leaves), leave a little of the
stem (which is pretty good)...cut
vertically into quarters (put them
into acidulated water after cutting
to prevent blackening), then cut
out fuzzy choke with tip of paring
saute sliced leeks (garlic, too, if
you want) in olive oil for a minute
or two, add artichokes, cook a few
more minutes, then add a little
white wine...cover and cook over
low heat until artichokes ar
tender, about 20 minutes...
good hot or at room temp
Sharon, I just went by A&S in Thornwood, and I want to
thank you for the pointer. It's a great Italian
The only fresh artichokes they had were American. They
also had marinated long-stemmed baby artichokes; is
that what you were referring to, or did they have the
same thing fresh? The fellow behind the counter told
me they might get those in late next week.
Hi, just a comment--all artichokes have long stems. They are flowers. If you ever go to Italy while they are in season, you will see them in the open markets being sold as they are harvested--on long stems. Similarly, you'll see zucchini in its natural state, with the flowers still attached.