Artichokes are available during most of the year, however their price is significantly lower during spring, their peak season. There is also a substantial artichoke crop in the fall.
Choosing Your Artichokes
Artichokes should be compact and plump with an even green color and lightly packed leaves. They should feel heavy for their size and the leaves should not be bruised. In the fall and winter, the leaves might have brown spots caused by frost but don’t affect the quality.
Artichoke hearts are available frozen but sometimes they have not been trimmed adequately and may contain inedible parts. Try several brands to find the best ones. Marinated artichoke hearts also come in jars and can be a savory addition to salads or cold vegetable dishes.
When handling artichokes, grasp them by their stems so you don’t prick your finger on the sharp tips of the leaves. Occasionally artichokes are sold with the thorny tips removed.
Keep artichokes unwashed in a plastic bag or tightly covered container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
Allow 1 medium or 2 or 3 baby artichokes per appetizer or side dish serving.
Artichokes are a good source of vitamins A, C and potassium. One medium artichoke contains 45 calories.