Peak Season Picks
Peak Season Picks
Artichokes!
When are artichokes in season? Artichokes are available throughout the year but peak season is March through May. This is the time they are at their largest in size, freshest and most free from defects.
How do I prepare artichokes? There are many ways! They can be steamed, boiled, grilled and fried and are great in salads, dips, sautés and on pizza.
How do I clean artichokes? Start by rinsing the artichoke in cold water. You can trim just the rough leaf tips and steam the entire artichoke or take off all of the rough edges for just the artichoke heart.
Are artichokes good for you? Yes! Artichokes are packed full of fiber, protein and antioxidants. Artichokes actually rank at number 7 on USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods. They also offer folate, and vitamin C and K.

Pair it with these!
Sterling Vintner’s Collection Chardonnay California style with vibrant fruit and supple texture. Crisp apple, pear and hints of pineapple are layered by lovely pie spices and toasty vanilla notes.
Fresh Artichoke Dip 3 artichokes
1cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

 
Preparing Fresh Artichokes:
Snip 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichokes. Remove smaller leaves towards the base and cut the entire stem to the base of the artichoke. Rinse the artichokes. Insert a steaming basket in a pot with a couple of inches of water and add the artichokes and cover, cook for 35 - 45 minutes with 2 inches of water. Cooking time depends on the size of the artichokes. Steam until the outer leaves can be pulled off easily.

 

Finding the heart of the artichoke:
Pull off the leaves until they are all removed. Using a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the fuzzy part (the "choke") that covers the artichokes heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the tender heart. Cut into pieces In a shallow baking dish: Mince garlic, add mayonnaise and sour cream cheese, mixing well. Add chopped artichoke hearts. Salt and pepper to taste. Add half of the parmesan cheese and add lemon juice if desired. Mix well. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on the top. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set baking dish on the center shelf of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to the broil setting and broil until cheese has melted and top is bubbly with lightly browned edges. Make sure you are attentive as the edges will brown quickly. Serve hot and enjoy with crusty bread and other vegetables, for dipping.
Why it pairs perfectly The rich full bodied flavor of this chardonnay will pair with the creamy flavors in this dip and balance any acidic charters brought forth by the herbs and spices.

 

Past Peak Season Picks