November 2011 - Eventful Magazine

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November 2011 - Eventful Magazine

estaurants & reviews

Artichokes

By Donna Massaro

One of my all-time

favorites, artichokes are not

only fun to eat, they take me back to my

childhood, sitting around Grandma's dining

room table with the loud, crazy, Italian

family during the holidays. Ahhhh, the

good old days. Seems like so long ago.

When I did my research on this prickly

vegetable, I could not believe the health

benefits that came along with it. The leaves

are packed with nutrients. Having more

antioxidants than any other vegetable,

the artichoke ranked seventh in a study

of antioxidant levels out of 1,000 different

foods. It is also a great hangover treatment.

They say “instead of hair of the dog,

try the leaves of an artichoke.” The leaves

of the artichoke also induce cell death

and reduce cell proliferation in many different

cancers such as prostate, leukemia

and breast. They are beneficial to the liver

Simple Roasted Artichoke

You will need:

Artichokes

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Sharp knife

Baking pan

Foil

Directions:

Remove outer layer until you reach the pale yellow inside.

Cut in fourths.

Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cover with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Roast uncovered for 15 minutes or until brown.

Serve with baked chicken, steak on the grill, or just eat it

alone. Enjoy!

and the digestive system, aid in digestion,

improve gall bladder function and reduce

cholesterol. One large artichoke contains

one quarter of your daily recommended

fiber intake. A medium one has more fiber

than a cup of prunes! Bye, bye, prunes.

The artichokes in their native land of

northern Africa still grow wild and are

part of the sunflower family. This funnylooking

vegetable blooms into a beautiful

violet flower if not picked. They are a

perennial and are available year-round.

One plant can produce more than 20 artichokes

per year. Their peak season is

spring and fall. With more than 140 varieties,

less than 40 are grown commercially

in France, Spain and Italy. California provides

almost 100 percent of the U.S. crop

and is nicknamed the

“artichoke center of

the world.” They were

brought here to the U.S.

Donna's

dishes

in the 19th century and have been enjoyed

ever since.

Norma Jeane Baker, aka Marilyn Monroe,

was crowned Miss California Artichoke

Queen in 1947.

How do you pick an artichoke you ask?

Well, in the winter months, it is good to

see white blisters on the outer leaves. This

means the artichoke was exposed to cold

temperatures. Otherwise, it should be firm;

the leaves should squeak when rubbed and

snap when you fold them. When storing

artichokes, sprinkle with water and refrigerate

in an air-tight plastic bag. They will

keep for about week.

“I have a heart like an artichoke — a leaf

for everyone.”

Donna Massaro is the owner of the Freight

House Cafe in Mahopac.

6 Eventful Magazine - November 2011

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