It’s Artichoke Season! Spring Recipe: the French version of an antipasto-style vegetable preparation with intense zesty flavors. Learn how to prepare fresh seasonal artichokes!
Spring Artichokes with Southern Spiced Cornbread Crumbs
and Potato Salad with Artichokes – Lemon Thyme Dressing Recipes
“Vegetables a la grecque” – an ancient name for a simple French technique.
Quartered Artichokes are lightly browned in olive oil and an aromatic court bouillon, then cooled and served lacquered with the broth which is assertive with wine and lemon juice. Classically the broth is considered pickled ~ many enjoy the vegetables cold, pulled from it’s heady broth.
I’m adding butter, swirled into the “broth” to make a delicious “sauce.”
Simply – Vegetables à la grecque is a French dish ~ vegetables are typically slightly pickled in a broth of vegetable stock, wine and lemon juice.
Love artichokes as much as I do?
I’ve always enjoyed ordering them in restaurants ~ as a cold first course served simply with a vinaigrette, deliciously warm with with Hollandaise sauce or melted butter or a stuffed whole globe with garlicky bread crumbs.
Preparing and cooking artichokes is not as intimidating as it seems!
See my recipe for how remove the outer leaves and cut the artichokes in quarters.
Did you know?
One large artichoke contains only 60 calories, no fat, 170 milligrams of potassium, and is a good source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium and dietary fiber.
A fabulous way to eat artichoke is in this recipe: Artichoke à la Grecque which contains quartered artichokes that are browned in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil – then mushrooms and peppers (could use any complimentary vegetables) are sautéed, and a good dose of lemon juice, white wine and vegetable stock is added; the vegetables stew in this ZESTY sauce that is addictive!
I serve the artichoke stew/sauce over roasted fish ~ yet would be delicious over pasta, or refrigerate and eat the vegetables cold.
Adding thyme leaves, bay leaves and a good amount of cracked pepper elevates the flavor.
Fresh, seasonal & simple ~ this is a classic French preparation for one of spring’s most famous vegetables.
And if you use frozen artichoke hearts, you lessen the burden of preparing artichokes and can make this springtime dish anytime of year. Yet I think cooking fresh artichokes are well worth the effort!
This dish is typical of the simple bistro fare that visitors to France in the 1950s would try to re-create when they returned home to Greece.
The easy “Greek-style” treatment was also a popular way for the French to cook other vegetables such as mushrooms, artichoke hearts, celeriac or fennel.
Many would still argue that these are the finest vegetables grown. They not only have great complexity of flavor, but trememdously beautiful form. Fittingly, the Italians today still have more ways to cook artichokes than just about anyone else.
We in the U.S. are still learning to appreciate the artichoke. Though early French settlers introduced them in New Orleans and the Spanish in California, it was not until this century that artichokes became known from coast to coast.
In the United States, California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop.
Simmered gently to mingle the flavors and develop a good flavor.
Enjoy the à la Grecque with vegetables solo ~ or use a flavorful sauce over your favorite fish or pasta.