Thursday, June 25, 2009

Upscale Artichokes

One of the many pleasures of a getaway weekend to the Monterey Bay area is driving through the farm fields and inspecting the crops as you whiz by. I'm always interested to see what's growing and how far along it is. Watching the workers in the fields, too, I get a heightened appreciation for the hard physical labor that goes into producing my food.

In Gilroy the air wafting through the car windows smells of garlic as you pass the neat green rows. Around Watsonville the scent changes to ripe strawberries at this time of the year. In Castroville near the ocean, artichoke fields take precedence. Coming home from Monterey, My Beloved and I noticed a roadside sign advertising Pezzini Farms fresh artichokes for sale. We both love these thistle buds so it was easy to cajole him into turning off the highway.

Artichoke plants are funny, untidy things with long, floppy, gray-green leaves and a serious case of bedhead. Because the artichoke field is immediately adjacent to the farm stand, we were certain of their freshness. The farm offered 'chokes ranging in size from petite little buds that you might use for pickling or eating whole to prickly behemoths that could play the lead in Little Shop of Horrors. We chose the middle-of-the-road size that would fit comfortably on a dinner plate next to the filet mignon we discovered at our local market.

Steamed and served with melted white truffle butter, an extravagance that we heartily recommend, they were a fitting ending to a splendid Father's Day.



Blogger Greg said...

I haven't been it that neck of the woods for a long time. Time for a visit.

Thursday, June 25, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

How cool that you got a picture of them in the wild. Free-range artichokes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, go! It's great!

Cookiecrumb, not sure if they were organic but they were definitely local.

Friday, June 26, 2009  

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