Fresh artichokes have a much more complex and interesting flavor than the canned variety. They take a lot of extra work, but it’s worth the effort a few times while they are in season.
When are artichokes in season?
Artichokes have 2 peak seasons: March to June, and again from September to October. California artichokes are usually available all year, but better during these peak seasons. See what else is in season at the same time: March, April, May, June, September and October.
Selection: To select the best artichokes, look for compact, tight leaves, and ones that are heavy for their size (an indicator of interior moisture). You can also give them a little squeeze and listen for a squeak, which tells you the leaves are plump and fresh. You don’t have to worry about black spots on the leaves or stem end, that’s a natural occurrence that starts when they come in contact with the air.
Storing: Store them in an airtight container, wrapped in a paper towel to whisk away moisture, in the fridge. They should last for about a week.
Should artichokes be organic?
I couldn’t find data the showed how much pesticide makes it into artichokes. I try to buy organic when it’s available and affordable.
How to prep & cook an artichoke:
If you haven’t cooked one before (or eaten one whole), you might be wondering what on earth you’re supposed to do. Martha Stuart to the rescue!
The Food Charlatan also has a nice step-by-step guide, with pictures, which shows you how to prep an artichoke, remove the choke (but keep the heart), and more.
Now what should I make?
That’s a good question! I scour the internet to find recipes that use fresh, seasonal ingredients, often with a fun twist. Follow Ask The Food Geek on Pinterest or Facebook to get access to the recipes I find every day.
Seasonal artichoke recipes
Each recipe below only uses ingredients that are in season at the same time as artichokes, or ingredients that have a year-round season.