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Purple Sangria artichokes have a pointed shape, with deep maroon, meaty leaves. They have a nutty and earthy artichoke flavor. The purple color of a Sangria artichoke is due to the presence of anthocyanins, which are phytonutrients present in the plant. Anthocyanins are said to help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. They are also said to protect the brain as it ages.
Sangria artichokes are available in the spring as well as the fall, having two distinct growing seasons.
Sangria artichokes are a new variety of Cynara scolymus introduced in 2013. The release of this purple-hued artichoke coincided with the proclamation by California’s Lieutenant Governor that artichokes are the state vegetable. Nearly 100% of commercially grown artichokes come from California. Artichokes are in the thistle group of the sunflower family. The vegetable is the immature flower bud of the plant. If left on the plant, the thistle would bloom, revealing a bright purple thistle flower.
As with most artichokes, Sangria artichokes can be eaten steamed whole or the hearts can be removed and cut into smaller pieces for use. To prepare, remove one inch from the top of the artichoke and spread open the petals slightly. Cut an inch from thttom of the stem. Place the artichoke in water with lemon to keep it from browning before cooking. Steam the artichoke until soft and serve whole. Petals are plucked to reveal the fuzzy “choke” at the center of the vegetable. This is scooped out tveal the meaty center “heart” which runs down a portion of the stem. Sangria artichoke hearts can be added to pizzas, salads, pastas and many other dishes. Artichokes are often served on their own with an aioli dipping sauce.
Sangria artichokes are grown along the California coast, in an area known more for its wines. The purple vegetable introduced in 2013 is the result of collaboration between Italian and French breeders from a new proprietary seed variety. It was develoby a man named Steve Jordan, known to many as the “Artichoke Evangelist.” This new purple artichoke was released to coincide with a Locally Grown Artichoke Festival.
Recipes that include Sangria Artichokes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Life & Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch||Garlic Roasted Sangria Artichokes with Garlic Saffron Aioli|
|Delightful-Delicious-Delovely||Grilled Sangria Artichoke with Balsamic Dressing|