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Artichokes were born in Greek mythology, then traveled across the Mediterranean to France and from France to Louisiana and finally carried by the Spaniards to California. Today, Castroville, California (near Monterey on the coast) proclaims itself "The Artichoke Center of the World." And rightfully so, Castroville, with a population of less than 7,000, boast 75% of the world production of artichokes. I paired some home-grown artichokes with bright, spring flavors reminiscent of ancient Greece rather than the traditional Italian summer panzanella (but summer is right around the corner...here's my Italian version with tomatoes, peaches and basil).
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Homegrown artichokes are super easy! Six plants are a fence border next to the driveway. They produce for 5-6 years. Only thin you need to do is cut them back to about 6-12" inches after the harvest - they'll just grow back every year!
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You can save the leaves and eat plain or dipped in melted butter. For this recipe you just need the hearts. Pull those out and chop roughly.
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Cube the bread before you toast it. If you do the reverse, when you try and cut toasted bread you'll just get crumbs.
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I like dressings heavy on the lemon and mustard, and with fresh herbs. You can use dried, but you know the saying - "fresh is best!"

Artichoke Feta Panzanella Salad

April 28, 2013

30 min or less active, 60 min or less total, appetizer, main, side, spring

Artichokes were born in Greek mythology, then traveled across the Mediterranean to France and from France to Louisiana and finally carried by the Spaniards to California. Today, Castroville, California (near Monterey on the coast) proclaims itself "The Artichoke Center of the World." And rightfully so, Castroville, with a population of less than 7,000, boast 75% of the world production of artichokes. I paired some home-grown artichokes with bright, spring flavors reminiscent of ancient Greece rather than the traditional Italian summer panzanella (but summer is right around the corner...here's my Italian version with tomatoes, peaches and basil).

Information

Servings: 6 (4 as a main)
Time: About one hour total; 30 minutes active
Price: About $16.00 total; $2.70 per serving
Nutrition (per serving):
Calories: 229
Protein: 6.3g
Fat: 12.2g
Saturated fat: 2.9g
Carbohydrates: 26.5g
Fiber: 4.2g
Sodium: 486.6mg
Cholesterol: 8.3mg
High In:
Good Source:
Low In:

Ingredients

  • 2 lb baby artichokes
  • 3 lemons, 1 cut into slices, the other 2 juiced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 6 oz French baguette, cut into 1" cubes
  • 3 Tbsp EVOO, divided
  • 1/4 cup oregano, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup nicoise or kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 oz feta, crumbled

Preparation

  1. For the artichokes, follow my Grilled Artichoke recipe, but use lemon slices from a whole lemon, cook just 10 minutes, and omit step 3. After grilling, remove and let cool. Then remove the hearts and chop roughly. Set aside. Alternatively, use canned or frozen artichoke hearts, grill and chop.
  2. Meanwhile, use 1/2 Tbsp oil to brush on onion slices, grill 2 minutes per side and remove. Chop roughly. Using another 1/2 Tbsp oil, toss bread cubes until coated. Grill 5 minutes and remove.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking together remaining 2 Tbsp EVOO, oregano, lemon juice and black pepper. Set aside.
  4. To assemble, place the artichoke hearts, onion, bread cubes, parsley, olives and feta in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over top and mix well. Serve at room temperature.

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