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Carciofi - Artichokes

Who loves artichokes? We do!

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Did you know that California grows almost 100% of the total United States artichoke crop? And that nearly 80% of that is grown in Monterey County? If you’ve driven that beautiful stretch of Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Monterey, you surely have seen the signs for Castroville. AKA: Artichoke Center of the World.

 

Whether you enjoy your artichokes simply steamed, grilled on the BBQ or mixed into in a creamy dip with chips, get out there and buy some soon. Peak season is March through May so you won’t have any trouble finding them on your supermarket shelves. In our California Farm to Fork cooking class, we whipped up a delicious side dish using these delectable thistles. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking!

 

Potato & Artichoke Gratin
Potato & Artichoke Gratin

Potato and Artichoke Gratin

  By Beth Sogaard  

April 18, 2017

This is a delicious side dish featuring California artichokes at the height of the season. Enjoy alongside any main dish, or even on its own!

 

 

  • Yields: 12 servings

Ingredients

4 large cooked artichokes

1 1/2 cups cream

1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp chopped thyme

2 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

5 lb Yukon Gold potatoes

1 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

1Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the leaves from the artichokes and clean off the center choke with a spoon. Slice the artichoke hearts into 1/8 inch thick slices.

2Mix the cream, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Thinly slice the potatoes and place directly into the cream mixture, tossing to coat. This is easiest done on a mandoline. If you hand cut the potatoes plan on the gratin taking a little longer to cook.

3Spray a 9x13 lasagna or other baking pan lightly with vegetable oil and layer in 1/3 of the potatoes, then layer 1/2 the artichoke slices and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, remaining artichokes, some of the cheese and then finish with potatoes and cheese. I like to make the top layer of potatoes evenly shingled so it looks nice.

4Cover the pan with plastic wrap and then foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour - or until fork tender in the middle. Uncover and return to the oven to brown up a bit for another 10 minute. Cut into 12 squares and serve piping hot.

The flavor of the artichokes permeates the layers of potatoes as it bakes...yum!

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AUTHOR - Beth Sogaard

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