Sauteed Purple Baby Artichokes

Have you ever desired rich artichoke flavor, without the hour or so it can take to steam a whole mature artichoke?

Who knew that these beautiful little gems from the farmers market could provide all you’ve ever wanted.

Not only are they gorgeous to the eye, they take about 0.5 seconds to prep, and are bursting with artichoke flavor in each tender bite.

I don’t know about you, but I surely have never seen baby artichokes at the grocery store. Perhaps I could have found them at Whole Foods for a few short weeks, but I know I DID find them at the Pico farmers market a few weeks ago. I’d never cooked with them before, but after hearing the farmer’s quick description of how to prepare them, they simply sounded divine. So, if you ever come across these little artichokes (they also come in regular green colors), please purchase them! They turn an ordinary dinner into something special.

After bringing them home, I decided to simply prep and saute them in a dab of butter. Uhhhh best decision ever! You don’t even need anything more than that. Let these suckers shine. They taste so rich and artichokey (like buttery artichoke hearts), yet still fresh and satisfying. If you’re trying to impress a date, make these with some nice steak and a salad and prepare yourself for many many compliments :)

Health Tip: Just 1/2 cup of these baby artichokes contains 5g of fiber. That is 20% of the daily requirement for women (25g/day), and 13% of the daily requirement for men (38g/day). Trust me, it is easy to scarf down a whole cup of these artichokes and meet almost half of the daily fiber requirement for adult women. Artichokes contain a lot of insoluble fiber, which is not digested and adds bulk to the stool, helping to ease constipation. Most Americans are sorely lacking in dietary fiber and only consume about 15g per day. Fiber is mostly found in whole grains and vegetables, so try these baby artichokes this week to boost your fiber intake.


Sauteed Purple Baby Artichokes

serves 2

  • 15 small baby artichokes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • sprinkle of salt

First, prep the artichokes. Cut the stem off and about half an inch off the top of each baby artichoke. Peel off  4 layers of leaves, and then cut in half vertically. Do not skimp on the number of layers you peel off or else you will get tough spiky bites, when you really just want the tender centers.

I tore off this many leaves:

and even that wasn’t quite enough. Be liberal!

Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and saute for about 15 minutes, until fork tender, stirring relatively frequently.

They should look like this when you’re done:

nom nom.

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