Baby artichokes whole foods

Buttery soft, heirloom baby artichokes are this season’s coveted treat. Here’s where to find them

Iacopi Farms' baby artichokes are only available for a limited time between mid-February to May

Provided by Naoki Nitta

Welcome to the second installment of the Don’t FOMO (fear of missing out) series. We’re back after a little bit of a break and are once again encouraging readers to jump on food and drink that are available for only a short time in the Bay Area — or otherwise very hard to get.

On a recent, early spring morning, I found myself cooing over newly budded, baby artichokes at a farmers’ market in Marin.

“It doesn’t get any better in the artichoke world,” said Christian Larson of Iacopi Farms, a local grower known for their heirloom coastal globe variety. Like spring, these adorable sprouts are buttery soft, green and delicate—and just as ephemeral.

“Seriously, these will be gone so fast. When restaurants see them in this size, they snatch up the whole case,” Larson said. “They’re really tender and really sweet, so you don’t need to do anything to them.” Popular Bay Area spots like Floodwater, Palette, and Seven Hills “eat them up,” he added.

The babies, which are a little bigger than duck eggs, are actually fully mature globe artichokes. Because they grow lower on the stalk, they’re shielded from the sun by the larger brood and remain effectively stunted. But pluck away their soft petals and these artichokes are all heart, with a delicate flavor suited to fresh, simple preparations.

These heirlooms come with an impressive pedigree: The Iacopi family has been dividing and replanting the same plants for almost 40 years on their third-generation farm overlooking the Half Moon Bay Airport. “They like the cool days and wet mornings,” said owner Mike Iacopi, of the coastal climate. “Being so close to the ocean, we get heavy, drippy fog, and the salt mist gives them extra flavor.”

Iacopi Farms' Christian Larson at the Marin County Farmers' Market

Provided by Naoki Nitta

The season for these artichokes typically runs from mid-February through May, with a three-week peak in late March. It’s also followed by a shorter second season in the fall. But with prolonged drought interrupted by a very wet December, “it’s been a really weird artichoke year,” said Larson. While the heirlooms have deeper substance and flavor, they’re far less resilient than their commercially grown, hybrid cousins. As a result, the farm lost a lot of their crop, he explained, and it created a very sporadic start to the harvest.

Although the babies are plucked early, current availability will depend entirely on how well the remaining plants fare. While he expects them to continue producing through the spring, he shrugged when pressed for specifics. “They won’t be in season long,” he added, “because the season is so out of whack.”

Of course, it’s their fleeting nature that makes them more endearing. And with no thorns or choke, paring them is a snap; getting to the heart of the matter involves just a few tugs of the outer leaves, a slice of the conical top, and a quick trim of the base.

“You can steam them, you can roast them, you can sauté them,” Larson said. “You even get a lot of people who shred them [raw] for a salad.” He prefers them egg-battered, lightly sautéed in olive oil, and salted—a method he learned from Iacopi’s mother.

“You get the sweetness of the baby hearts and the salty taste.” he added. “It’s what an artichoke should taste like.”

Read on for my recipe on how to prepare them below.

Iacopi Farms has a booth on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, and Thursdays and Sundays at the Marin County Farmers’ Market. Baby artichokes, $6 per pound, are available mid-February-May.

Naoki Nitta is a food and sustainability writer based in San Francisco. Email: [email protected]

The artichokes can be cooked a day in advance and warmed very lightly before serving

Provided by Naoki Nitta

Whenever I get my hands on these artichokes, I like to prepare them Roman-style, braised whole with parsley, mint, and garlic. The unlikely herb pairing is a spring awakening — the flavors brighten up any roast or grilled fish — but a serving of three or four carciofini, or mini artichokes, is commanding enough as an antipasto or a vegan secondo. The artichokes can be cooked a day in advance and warmed very lightly before serving. (Store oil mixture separately and reheat before serving.)

Serves 4

8 to 12 baby artichokes, or 4 large ones, pared (see Note)

2 lemons, halved (to prevent browning)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, rinsed, dried, and roughly chopped (discard stems)

1 bunch fresh mint, rinsed, dried, and roughly chopped (discard stems)

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons water

Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions: Pare the artichokes by pulling away the outer layers of green leaves until the pale, inner ones are exposed. Cut off the top third, and trim any fibrous stem from the base with a paring knife. Rub with a halved lemon to prevent browning, and set aside.

Mix garlic, parsley and mint in a heavy pot with ½ teaspoon of the salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Carefully mix in the baby artichokes by hand, making sure that they make contact with the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Drizzle remaining oil evenly over the mixture, then slowly add water.

Fold a clean, brown paper bag (or a double sheet of paper towels) into a square that just covers the pot. Place lid over the bag and cook over medium-low heat until artichokes are tender but al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes (prod the bottom end with fork; they should pierce easily). The tips and herbs should crisp a bit.

Carefully transfer artichokes to a platter and cool to room temperature. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to cook the remaining oil and herb mixture uncovered, until reduced by half. Drizzle over the artichokes just before serving.

Note: If using full-size artichokes (see accompanying photo), follow paring instructions above, but thoroughly scrape out the choke with a spoon, and trim the stem completely down to the white core. Generously stuff each cavity with the herb mix and cook with the tops face down, and adjust cooking time to 20 to 30 minutes.

Sauteed Baby Artichokes Recipe


Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer

Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.

Learn about Simply Recipes' Editorial Process

Updated March 10, 2022

Sally Vargas

For years I've walked by those packages of baby artichokes at Trader Joe's not willing to try them because they just didn't seem worth the effort.

I'm glad to report that I was completely wrong!

Sally Vargas

They actually take less time to prepare than regular artichokes because they cook up in only a few minutes versus 40 minutes for globe artichokes.

Even though they are called "baby artichokes," they aren't actually immature artichokes, but simply a different variety that reaches maturity at a much smaller size than regular artichokes.

Sally Vargas

Unlike larger artichokes, more parts of these small ones are edible. You don't have to scoop out the choke, you can eat it with the rest of the heart and tender leaves.You can also simmer the discarded leaves in water for an hour to make an artichoke vegetable stock for soup, so nothing goes to waste.

Artichokes pair well with something acidic, such as lemon or balsamic vinegar, and something creamy, such as mayonnaise or Parmesan cheese.

Sally Vargas

These sautéed baby artichokes are easy to prepare and combine flavors that work naturally well with artichokes. They can be eaten alone, or mixed in with pasta or risotto, or baked on to pizza.

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 10 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Servings 4 servings

  • 2 pounds baby artichokes

  • 4 cups water, divided 3 cups and 1 cup

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons), divided

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced, including the green ends

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 pinch herbes de Provence

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pinch black pepper

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. Prep the artichokes:

    Rinse the baby artichokes. Fill a bowl with 3 cups of water and add 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice to it.

    Sally Vargas Sally Vargas

    Cut off the stem of each artichoke to 1/4-inch from the base. Peel back and remove the petals until only the top third of the cone tip is pale green. Cut off the pale green tips.

    Sally Vargas Sally Vargas

    Trim off any remaining green from base of artichoke. Halve or quarter the artichokes, depending on their size and drop them into the bowl of acidified water (to prevent discoloration).

    Sally Vargas Sally Vargas
  2. Steam the artichokes:

    Drain artichokes in a colander. In a large skillet, bring one cup of the water to a boil. Add the artichokes, cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes. Drain well.

    Sally Vargas Sally Vargas
  3. Sauté the artichokes:

    Wipe out the skillet to remove excess water. Heat to medium high and add the olive oil. Add the artichokes, onions, garlic, and herbes de Provence. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.

    Sally Vargas

    Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the salt and pepper.

  4. Serve:

    Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and parsley on top.

Whole artichokes in oil Iposea 290g

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  5. nine0019 Whole artichokes in oil Iposea 290g

Whole artichokes in oil Iposea 290g

396₽ for 1 piece

Product code: 35463

Brand: Iposea

Description: missing

nine0034 Spanish white beans Casa Rinaldi 400g

188 ₽ for 1 piece

Grape leaves Janarat 450g

240 ₽ for 1 piece nine0025

Red beans Heinz 400g

142 ₽ 138 ₽ for 1 piece

Home-style pickled cucumbers with dill Lukashinsky pickles 670g nine0035

185 ₽ for 1 piece


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Ways to use artichoke extracts from Vietnam

We have already written about the artichoke and its properties more than once in the articles “What are the benefits of the artichoke?” and "Artichoke tea is the richest source of antioxidants." Today we would like to talk about how to choose your best artichoke option, where and how best to store artichokes, as well as how to drink artichoke extract, artichoke tea and also artichoke extract. Let's start in order.

How to choose an artichoke?

On our website there are several options for presenting the artichoke. nine0025

Natural artichoke extracts are specially fermented and cooked artichoke buds and leaves, which have the consistency of a viscous and soft resin. Artichoke extracts may also be referred to as artichoke jelly. Outwardly, artichoke extracts are really very similar to dark resin and can be packed in cardboard boxes or jars of various sizes:

  • Artichoke jelly in a jar of 500 gr or 1 kg
  • Artichoke jelly in a box 100 gr and 1 kg

Artichoke tea is crushed artichoke leaves, stems and flowers. Often, artichoke tea is presented in a very convenient format - in practical and quite convenient paper bags.

  • Artichoke tea bags (100 bags)

Artichoke extract in ampoules . Exclusive new liquid artichoke flower extract in small 10 ml ampoules.

  • Vietnamese artichoke natural extract without sugar, 10 ampoules x 10 ml
  • Vietnamese artichoke natural extract with sugar, 10 ampoules x 10 ml

Each artichoke packaging format has its own advantages. Large jars of artichoke jelly are handy for a large family, and also grab an individual serving of artichoke jelly with a teaspoon. Artichoke tea bags, compared to artichoke jelly, are more convenient and faster to brew, while resin artichokes will take a little longer to cook. Liquid artichoke in ampoules does not require long preparation and brewing at all, the only thing that takes a precious minute is to open the ampoule. nine0025

The choice of the ideal format for an artichoke from Vietnam, in particular, depends on the way it is further stored and used.

What is the best way to store an artichoke?

We recommend storing both the whole package of artichoke extracts and the opened one in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Large jars of artichoke jelly are easy to store in kitchen cabinets. An artichoke in a box is convenient to immediately disassemble into portions, for example, roll up small jelly balls and store in the freezer. Thus, you will save a little time when preparing the artichoke extract and also increase the shelf life of the product. And so that the artichoke balls do not stick to your hands and dishes, store them in a freezer in small cellophane bundles. And artichoke tea in individual paper bags is convenient to store and brew both at home and outside, for example, at work. Ampoules with liquid artichoke extract can be stored in any dark place and drunk at any convenient time, even on the run. nine0025

How to drink artichoke?

In drinking artichoke extracts, it is recommended to adhere to a certain schedule: it is advised to drink the artichoke in a course of 2-4 weeks, then take a break for a period of 1 month, then, if desired, start drinking a new course.

Of course, do not forget about the artichoke contraindications. We strongly do not recommend drinking artichoke to children under 6 years of age, as well as adults with chronic renal failure, blockage of the biliary tract, gallstones, and during pregnancy and lactation. nine0025

There are no contraindications to taking artichoke, then proceed to the recipes for its brewing.

Brewing natural artichoke extract from Vietnam

There are several ways to drink Vietnamese artichoke jelly.

The first way. Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of artichoke extract in a small glass of warm boiled water. It is important not to use boiling water when brewing, otherwise the hood will lose all its useful properties. Drinking brewed artichoke resin is recommended twice or thrice a day 30 minutes before meals or 30 minutes after meals. nine0025

Also, if you break the soft and viscous resin from the artichoke into individual portioned balls in advance, then it will be enough just to unfold the ball from the plastic bag, place it in a mug and fill it with water no more than 70 degrees Celsius. In order for the artichoke to brew faster, stir with a spoon until the ball is completely dissolved.

The second way. Dissolve 100 g of artichoke resin in 1 liter of vodka or other alcoholic drink. Add 1 tablespoon of honey and take one tablespoon before meals 3 times a day. nine0025

Brewing Vietnamese artichoke tea

Artichoke paper tea bags Unlike artichoke jelly, brewing is slightly easier and faster.

Learn more