First Artichokes of the Season

weekly CSA produce share
Did you know that the artichoke is a type of thistle? It is, apparently, the tasty type!

We’re excited to be getting artichokes again. This is the perfect example of the benefits of joining a CSA: expanding our culinary horizons. Until we started getting artichokes each year, we’d never really cooked them (we normally steam them), so working with them was all new (one of us had never eaten a steamed artichoke before joining the CSA); now, after nearly eight years, it’s old hat.  Up at the farm, they grow so many artichokes that there’s usually an artichoke festival each year. You can go to the farm, have roasted artichokes, and take fresh artichokes home for later. We’ve never gone, but one year the farm open house coincided with artichokes being in season, and we had plenty of freshly roasted ‘chokes.

This week, the share contained:

  • Artichokes (3)
  • Sweet potatoes (4)
  • Parsley (1 bunch)
  • Red Russian kale (1 bunch)
  • Swiss chard (1 bunch)
  • Valencia oranges (5)
  • Skyphos lettuce (3 heads)
  • Carrots (1 bunch)

We’ve already had a sweet potato (we’d accidentally dropped it when we were putting it away and it broke in half) and the chard. The chard we did in a new way: Chard with fried walnuts and blue cheese — you’ll see the recipe tomorrow. The rest? We’ll figure it out as we go along.

Update 16 April. We had the artichokes steamed, which is one of the easiest and best ways to have them, and all our salads used the Skyphos lettuce — we worried that it might be bitter this late in the season, but our worries were unfounded. The Valencia oranges — how can you not just eat fresh fruit? There’s nothing you can do to make it better. The parsley went into a batch of Chimichurri Sauce, which we ate along with oven-roasted fries made from sweet potatoes. And, finally, the kale made another batch of Caldo Verde and a pasta tossed with kale and blue cheese.

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