Artichokes are everywhere in the grocery store this time of year and they make a delicious treat for dinner. I grew up eating artichokes every once in a while. Back then we ate them with a side of butter sauce and a little extra salt. I learned from a young age how to navigate my way around the “choke” which hides in the middle of the vegetable, lying in wait for an unsuspecting diner.
Artichokes in Paris
When I was a little older, I was once served an artichoke in Paris. I was there for a study abroad semester during my university days. I’ll never forget how surprised my French host family was when they saw that I knew how to eat an artichoke. They had apparently never met an American who had been raised in the ways of this wily vegetable.
Artie the Artichoke
I am also a fan of the Fighting Artichokes who hail from the Scottsdale Arizona Community College athletic department. Despite having no direct tie to that college, I love their mascot, Artie the Artichoke. I first learned about Artie on a trip to Arizona a few years back. According to several news blogs, Artie was selected by the students as the school’s mascot back in the 1970s.
Cooking and Eating Artichokes
Moving on to food and nutrition – here’s a bit about cooking and eating artichokes. Artichokes are low in calories (about 90 calories for an entire large artichoke) and contain potassium and vitamin C along with a good amount of dietary fiber (over 8 g in a large artichoke). Where the extra calories can sneak in, is in the sauce that is typically served alongside the artichoke for dipping. I serve a simple balsamic vinaigrette as the dipping sauce; if you serve melted butter, hollandaise or mayonnaise instead, you will significantly add to the calories you gain from this dish.
Be sure to stop by the shop to stock up on supplies.