With all of the winter rains we've had here in Southern California, my artichokes have blossomed quickly into new plants. Artichokes in zone 9 are a perennial. It is recommended to plant them in the back of your potager or kitchen garden so as not to take away sunlight from other shorter plants growing. Artichokes are so structural at 4 feet high x 6-8 feet wide, they can easily be planted throughout your gardens and in key focal points, too.
Artichokes take full sun and regular water. They can be started in the winter to early spring as small plants, and also by seed if you are patient. Known for their silver green leaves with big flower buds that eventually mature into delicious home-grown "chokes." If the artichoke buds are not harvested, these buds transform themselves into purple-blue thistle 6" flowers. These flowers can be used as spectacular cut flowers or they can be dried for mute-toned fall arrangements.
Artichokes have many reasons to be planted in your garden.Their showy tall plant structure and foliage. Delicious mature artichokes which can be cooked in so many ways. Showy eye-catching flowers to bring inside. Seeing my artichokes do so well this year, it reminded me of the great wedding planner and stylist, Colin Cowie's sensational Artichoke Vinaigrette. Recipe follows.
One fresh artichoke heart, or 2 canned artichoke hearts 1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard 1 Tbsp. Chopped Shallots 1/4 tsp Salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Puree artichokes and fresh lemon juice in a blender until creamy. Transfer to a small mixing bowl, blend together artichoke-lemon puree with mustard, shallots, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil. Makes 1 and 1/3 cups vinaigrette. Serve over fresh mixed greens, or use as a glaze for fish during and after grilling. Enjoy!
Please share your favorite artichoke recipe. Please share if you grow artichokes in your garden.
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