Artichoke

Ah, Spring! What a refreshing season filled with delectable delights at the farmers market. Seeing the stands switch from primarily root vegetables to greens is always an exciting and welcomed change. The crops from this season flow on and then off the stands quickly (as this tends to be a much shorter season), so grab a reusable tote and head to your market today! Explore Spring’s unique varietals, such as ramps, fiddlehead ferns, and fava beans.

On my recent trip to the market I found the most beautiful artichokes. These typically are available year round in stores but taste much better when eaten in the correct season (similar to tomatoes). I also grabbed some ramps, which have a slightly similar taste to leeks or onions. I was inspired to make a dairy-free ramp pesto to go on the artichokes which I added some fresh spring arugula to as well for a peppery kick. Note: this pesto recipe can be added to many other dishes including proteins, soups, eggs, toast, vegetable sides, or even potato salad. I hope you enjoy!

Spring Artichokes with Dairy-free Ramp Pesto Recipe
Serves 4-6

Artichoke Ingredients:
4 artichokes
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons avocado oil
Sprinkle of sea salt and pepper

Dairy-free Ramp Pesto Ingredients:
10-12 chopped ramps (include white and greens cleaned thoroughly)
1 cup arugula (or spinach/basil)
1/2 cup EVOO
1/3 cup cashews (or any nut/seed you prefer)
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon (taste preference)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Season with sea salt and pepper to taste preference
Optional: can add some water to loosen the pesto and make it smoother if you wish

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 and bring a large pot of filtered water to a boil.

Place cleaned ramps on a parchment lined baking sheet, and massage 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or EVOO) onto the ramps. Roast for 10-15 minutes (until leaves are lightly brown), and then remove and set aside to cool.

Turn oven up to 475.

Rinse and prepare your artichokes. Slice the top of the artichokes off by about a 1/2 inch, as well as the stem. Use kitchen scissors to trim the pointy leaves off. Squeeze juice of 1/2 a lemon into the boiling water, then place your artichokes in and let cook for 15 minutes. Make sure the artichokes are completely submerged in the water. Remove and let dry.

Place all pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until it is at the consistency you desire (shorter amount if you prefer a chunkier pesto, longer if you prefer a smooth pesto). Add water if needed. Taste and adjust spices and lemon to your preference.

Once the water has drained from the artichokes and they are dry, slice them in halve and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet (can go on the same one the ramps were on). Massage avocado oil into the artichokes and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until the artichokes are lightly browned with the insides facing up.

Transfer to a serving plate, spoon the pesto on top, and serve.

NOTE: The pesto can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 10 days in the refrigerator if you have leftovers.

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