The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Roasted Baby Artichokes, Onion Scapes

Although I am not expecting the end times to ramp into high gear come 6 o’clock this evening, I do like to consider what the world would be like if we no longer had electricity, gas, running water, the internet. (Oh, life without internet.) Sometimes I’ll follow this trajectory a ways, fancying myself an amateur survivalist (watch me construct a log cabin and forage all my food!) and imagining some kind of simpler (harder) life.

As a kid, I was fascinated by my mom’s Foxfire books, which bill themselves as a guide to plain living but are something of an unintentional survivalist manual. They were produced by a bunch of high school students in rural Georgia in the late 1960s, underperforming kids who, at the encouragement of their young and enthusiastic teacher, went up into the Appalachian woods of their grandparents and started asking them how things were done back in the old days. The cover is a stark, plain cream with brown text that states: “hog dressing, log cabin building, mountain crafts and foods … faith healing, moonshining and other affairs of plain living.” Apocalypse or no, my tattered copy of Foxfire is on the short list of items to grab when that proverbial house is burning down.

Roasted Baby Artichokes, Onion Scapes

All of this, of course, has nothing to do with this lovely, straightforward recipe for baby artichokes, unless you were of a mind to go forage some of your own. But let’s just switch gears and assume that we will have supermarkets, farmer’s markets, electricity and all the other wonders of contemporary life when tomorrow rolls around. Baby artichokes are worth celebration. Roasted this way, they’re just a little bit less finicky than their grown-up brethren, because a far greater portion of the artichoke is edible in its young, tender state. Paired with tender, sweet onion scapes, this is the epitome of fine spring living. Now go on and enjoy your produce before the world ends.

This Roasted Artichokes with Onion Scapes recipe is part of The May Seasonal Food Guide.

Serves 4 as an appetizer

12-14 baby artichokes
1 cup onion scapes, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt + pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Fill a large, nonreactive bowl with water and squeeze the juice of one lemon into it, throwing the lemons in as well. (You’ll dunk the artichokes in here so they don’t discolor.)

Using a sharp knife, slice the top one half to one inch off each artichoke. Peel away the tough outer leaves until you reach the tender inner leaves. Slice in half lengthwise, remove the inner fuzz with a spoon if needed, and dunk in the lemon water. Continue with all artichokes. When they’re all ready, drain.

Toss the artichokes with the onion scapes, olive oil, thyme, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet.

Roast for about 20-25 minutes, checking halfway, until the artichokes are tender.

Remove from the oven and finish with shaved parmesan cheese.

  • Jess - There is something magical about the combination of artichokes and thyme. Such a lovely aromatic pairing. Thanks for sharing- the artichokes photograph beautifully (the colors!).ReplyCancel

  • Sasa - I’ve been eating the hell out of some artichokes too! I made artichoke, potato and fennel roasted in parchment (twice) and today steamed three for me and my goodbye party guests to dip in butter. I sometimes think about post-Apocalyptic times too, mainly it comes up in images like The Road. Rather unsavoury stuff, I like yours in the woods far better.ReplyCancel

    • kimberley - @Jess: I must confess that I am rather enamored of the colors myself! (The vegetables did all the heavy lifting, though.)

      @Sasa:Girl, I almost referenced The Road in this post. Almost. But it’s just too darn dystopic – I have a hard time even imagining. So I guess I play it safe with my pastoral, woodsy version. I’m so excited that you’re passing through SF soon. (!!)ReplyCancel

  • Tim - Kimberly- these photos are so rad. So fresh. Like paintings. Really, really lovely. And the recipe looks good, too. ; )ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Franzen ` - um yum! that is allReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - Wow, your photos are just blowing me away! And it reminds me that I don’t eat enough artichokes. Must remedy that, stat.ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - Roasting just about any veggie, but particularly artichokes, is such a wonderful way to showcase them. Simple as this may be… it’s all you need to bring out the flavor of all of these lovely ingredients.ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - This recipe will send me foraging in the farmers market today. The plain living you describe makes me nostalgic for our life Denmark, where living seemed more simple, less material and closer to nature.ReplyCancel

  • meghan - where are you finding scapes? i haven ‘t seen any at the ferry building market?ReplyCancel

    • kimberley - Meghan: I wish that I could remember the vendor – it was an older woman at the Ferry Building. Maybe they’re already gone? Hope not. Will do a little research to see if they’re elsewhere. ReplyCancel

  • bianca - I love all of our modern conveniences- I have no idea how I would survive without them. I fully admit that I would be one of the firsts to go.

    Thanks goodness for gas, electricity and farmers market- life is so much better with them.ReplyCancel

  • Maria @ Scandifoodie - Such a gorgeous combination of flavours!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - the foxfire books sound intriguing! i was definitely feeling the diy/homesteading vibe as a kid, though my obsession centered mostly around the little house on the prairie books :)

    this spring veg roast looks fabulous – i will have to keep my eye out for onion scapes at the nyc greenmarkets. and might toss in a few garlic scapes, too!ReplyCancel

  • NicoleD - Goodness, your photos and recipes make me weak in the knees! I have yet to pick up some artichokes and I must! I don’t think I’ve made the baby artichokes before, but it sounds like the way to go. Ooh, that Foxfire book sounds handy :) My husband recently picked up a magazine about “living off of the land” to entertain him during jury duty and he’s shared a few of the fun facts with me. In some respects I’d love it and in others, not so much.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane - Funny, I often dream of a simpler (harder) life — especially when it comes to ditching some electronics and actually having real conversations face-to-face.

    Once again, a beautiful recipe! I especially love the way the colors morph into more subdued shades of their former selves. :)ReplyCancel

  • Mika - Congratulations!!! I’m so happy to know that you are in the saveur list 50 more food blogs you should be reading…you deserve that mention ^_^ReplyCancel

  • Farmgirl Susan - This looks wonderful! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ethel the Lonely Penguin « Graduate Gourmande - […] I had some salad, which was basically a vehicle for goat cheese, as most things are these days. This recipe looks good […]ReplyCancel


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