Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Spring is in full flower - I know this, because I am sneezing continually - and in addition to the burgeoning boughs and all come asparagus, snap peas, watercress, spinach, artichokes, you name it. Basically, everything’s gone green.
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.
Miami doctor Arturo Carvajal is suing the Houston's Restaurant chain for allowing him to eat an entire grilled artichoke, not warning him that parts of the vegetable aren't safely digestible or offering any instruction as to how to consume it.
According to the suit filed on October 25th, Mr. Carvajal began "experiencing severe abdominal pain and discomfort," and at a local hospital, an exploratory laparotomy revealed that "artichoke leaves were found lodged within Plaintiff's small bowell [sic]."
Here's how to keep that from happening to you.