National artichoke hearts day
March 16th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Have a heart, and then some more! There's plenty to go around this March 16, because it's National Artichoke Hearts Day.

What do you get at the center of a prickly green artichoke? Only a nice, nutty little bite of goodness.

The fleshy base of the artichoke is perhaps the most enjoyably edible part of this oddly-shaped vegetable. You have to peel back quite a few leaves to get to the center, but it's more than worth it - and the culinary possibilities are endless. Don't feel like peeling? No worries, you can find artichoke hearts that are packed in vinegar, oil or marinade and canned.

They make for a great low sodium snack, and lend themselves well to other snacks like artichoke dip, as well as an incredible pizza topping (or pizza dip, rather). In Greece, artichokes city-style, known as aginares a la polita, refers to a hearty stew of potatoes, carrots, onion, lemon, dill, and you guessed it, artichoke hearts. Stuffed artichokes are also quite the treat.

If you want to keep it simple, toss them in the skillet for a savory sautée with pancetta, parmesan and garlic. It's a straightforward spring dinner that just might turn into a (healthy) addiction.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. graciegal

    Scrape the inside of the leaves with your teeth, don't throw them away. Then, scrape out the thistles in the center and then eat the heart. Easy peesy and OH SO GOOD (Just had one yesterday :)

    March 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  2. Russamoto

    An artichoke is a thistle – not a vegetable.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • CN Red

      Cool, I didn't know that.

      March 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
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