According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the first day of spring is due to arrive at 7:02 A.M. on March 20th. This year the artichoke arrived a bit early, but I’m thrilled and have been cooking with them quite a bit. The artichoke has two harvests, one in fall and one in spring when the largest thistles are available and the main harvest occurs. Look for artichokes that have tight, compact petals. The artichoke is high in fiber, omega 3, in addition to minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and calcium and vitamins such as vitamins C and K and folate. When cleaning an artichoke, peel away the outer petals until you begin to see a lighter shade of green at the base of the artichoke petal. Once cut open, you’ll need to immerse the artichoke in acidulated water (lemon water) to keep the vegetable from turning black. If using small artichokes you won’t have to carve out the fuzzy inner choke. You can also use frozen artichoke hearts for the recipe and decrease the prep time. I used a cast iron pan to make this frittata, but a non-stick pan with a metal handle works as well. If doing so, you can cut back on the amount of oil being used! Another idea is to pour the batter into small, non-stick muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees F until the eggs have set. Portion out the frittata and enjoy for breakfast or for a snack. The dish can also be portioned and frozen for a few weeks. The following recipe is adapted from Marcella Hazan’s, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.
Recipe: Frittata with Artichokes
Jumpstart Boxes: 1 P Per Serving, 1 C Per serving
Prep Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 10 – 12 small artichokes, trimmed and quartered (or frozen, defrosted artichoke hearts to cut your prep time!)
- ½ lemon (only if using fresh artichokes)
- ½ medium onion, sliced
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 2TBS parsley, minced
- salt and pepper
- 5 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 1 blood orange (optional)
- Peel away the outer petals of the artichoke, trim the tops and the stem, then cut into quarters and place in a bowel of water with juice from ½ a lemon added. If using frozen artichoke hearts skip this step.
- Cut onion in half and slice to a 1/8” in thickness.
- Pinch the parsley leaves off the stem, then mince the parsley.
- Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick pan (with a metal handle), place the onion in the pan and cook on medium heat until golden in color. Add in the parsley, the quartered artichokes and ½ teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook for about a minute, turning the artichokes to coat them well. (At this point, if using frozen artichoke hearts, skip to step 5). Add 1/3 cup water, put a lid on the pan, and cook until the artichokes are very tender. This may take up to 15 minutes. Check the artichokes for tenderness with the tip of a knife. The water should completely evaporate once cooked. If not, take the lid off the pan and let the water cook off.
- Once the artichokes have cooked well, transfer them to a bowl to allow them to cool a bit.
- Crack 5 eggs into a bowl and beat until frothy. Add the artichoke mixture and another pinch of salt, the grated Parmesan and another grind of pepper.
- Turn on your broiler.
- Place another tablespoon olive oil in your pan, heat a little, then add in the egg/artichoke mixture. Cook on low heat until the eggs have set; only the surface should be runny. Run the skillet under the broiler for a few minutes being careful not to let it burn. You should have a golden brown frittata!
- Carefully invert the frittata onto a dish. Once cooled, slice into 5 portions.
- Serve a slice with a few sprigs of parsley and a few slices of blood orange.
Quartered artichokes soaking in lemon water:
Slicing the onions:
Pinching the parsley:
Grilling onions in skillet:
Frittata with artichokes and blood oranges: