Specialty Grocer Celebrates National
Artichoke Heart Day with Tasty Tips

"Spring is almost here and with it comes the arrival of artichoke season! The Fresh Market is stocked with everything shoppers need to celebrate National Artichoke Heart Day on March 16.  Giant artichokes are a fan favorite and can easily be made into a delightful dinner. The specialty grocer serves up fresh ideas and tips in its acclaimed cookbook, Cooking in Season with The Fresh Market.

While most are familiar with the appetizing flavor artichokes add to recipes, the ease of getting to the heart is not as well known. When the giant (soft-ball sized) artichokes arrive in late spring, they can be simmered to tenderness and served with a delicious vinaigrette as a light lunch.  As foodies eat their way through the artichoke, the reward is the wide, saucer-shaped flesh at the base. The artichoke leaves can also be enjoyed as a tasty treat!

The Fresh Market recommends that food lovers celebrate National Artichoke Heart Day with this “hearty” recipe from Cooking in Season with The Fresh Market:

Giant Artichokes with Mustard-Herb Vinaigrette

½ tsp black peppercorns
2 lemons
¼ c distilled white or cider vinegar
4 giant artichokes, stemmed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled
1 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced fresh chives
2 tsp minced fresh tarragon
2 tsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large stockpot of salted water, with peppercorns, to a boil over high heat.  Cut eight ¼ inch-thick rounds from lemons; set aside.  Pour vinegar into a large, nonreactive bowl and half-fill with cold water.  Using a large, sharp knife, cut off top inch from each artichoke.  Using scissors, snip off thorny tips from artichoke leaves.  Put each trimmed artichoke in vinegar water to discourage browning while preparing remaining artichokes.

Drain artichokes, discarding vinegar water.  Sit an artichoke on a lemon slice and place a second lemon slice on top.  Using kitchen twine, tie artichoke and lemon slices like a package to hold lemon slices in place. Add artichokes to boiling water and partially cover with a lid.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook at a brisk simmer, occasionally turning artichokes, until a bottom leaf can be easily pulled from a base and flesh is tender (scrape leaf against your teeth to check), about 1 ¼ hours.  Using tongs, transfer artichokes, upside down, to a platter to drain.  Let cool.  (Artichokes can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

To make vinaigrette: Pulse lemon zest and juice, vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a blender to combine.  With machine running, gradually pour oil through hole in lid to emulsify.  Add chives, tarragon, and parsley and pulse to combine without pureeing herbs. Season with salt and pepper.  Pour vinaigrette into 4 ramekins.

Gently squeeze each artichoke to remove excess water.  Remove twine and lemon slices.  Serve each artichoke in a shallow bowl with ramekin of vinaigrette for dipping and a large bowl to collect leaves.

About The Fresh Market, Inc.

Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market, Inc. is a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing high-quality products in a unique and inviting atmosphere with a high level of customer service. The company currently operates 152 stores in 26 states across the U.S.  The Fresh Market is an equal opportunity employer.  For more information, please visit"
Submitted for the Fresh Market

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