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Artichokes were born in Greek mythology, then traveled across the Mediterranean to France and from France to Louisiana and finally carried by the Spaniards to California. Today, Castroville, California (near Monterey on the coast) proclaims itself "The Artichoke Center of the World." And rightfully so: Castroville, with a population of less than 7,000, boasts 75 percent of the world production of artichokes.
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Time: About one hour total; 30 minutes active
2 pounds baby artichokes
3 lemons, 1 cut into slices, the other 2 juiced
1 medium red onion, sliced
6 ounces French baguette, cut into 1" cubes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup oregano, chopped fine
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup nicoise or kalamata olives, pitted
2 ounce feta, crumbled
1. For the artichokes, follow my Grilled Artichoke recipe, but use lemon slices from a whole lemon, cook just 10 minutes, and omit step 3. After grilling, remove and let cool. Then remove the hearts and chop roughly. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, use 1/2 tablespoon oil to brush on onion slices, grill 2 minutes per side and remove. Chop roughly. Using another 1/2 tablespoon oil, toss bread cubes until coated. Grill 5 minutes and remove.
3. Make the dressing by whisking together remaining 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, oregano, lemon juice and black pepper. Set aside.
4. To assemble, place the artichoke hearts, onion, bread cubes, parsley, olives and feta in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over top and mix well. Serve at room temperature.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.