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Follow the seasonality and the (Artichoke) Heart(s)

Follow the seasonality and the (Artichoke) Heart(s)

Artichokes, and in particular artichokes in oil, are beloved vegetables by most Italians; so much so that, and not everyone knows this, our country, in addition to being an acclaimed and renowned producer of good extra virgin olive oil, is the world’s leading producer and consumer of this type of vegetable. A food rich in quality that is mainly consumed in late autumn and spring, until the beginning of summer; and since we at Frantoio Bonamini, in addition to providing for the production of one of the best extra virgin olive oils globally, like to follow the seasonality of Made in Italy products, we have decided to dedicate a few lines to these delicacies, perhaps still underestimated: the artichoke hearts.

Originating from the Mediterranean basin, the cultivation of artichokes is a centuries-old tradition of our beautiful Italy. Known since the times of the ancient Greeks, today we are the first producer in the world of artichoke hearts, thanks to the countless production sites located in Sicily, Sardinia and Puglia. And it is precisely on the most famous coast of the last region mentioned here where we go to retrace the best artichokes in extra virgin olive oil (ours) that we could ever find.

Two regions that come together and bring to the table two of their best products: artichokes and EVO oil, becoming one, then taking the name of the famous (and mouth-watering) artichokes in oil. As an appetizer, condiment or side dish … in combination with the most varied dishes, our artichoke hearts find space in the kitchen of all customers, who, once tasted, can no longer do without it.

The shape of the jar, the well-studied label and the various shades of our green gold, bring the attention of our visitors precisely to this specialty, which turns out to be one of the most loved of the wide range of oil-based products. extra virgin olive branded Bonamini. Driven by a deep-rooted curiosity, one of the most popular questions we are asked is “how are artichokes in oil prepared?” and, for this time, we have deliberately decided to reveal our secret to you.

But be careful … the secrets must be well kept and preserved, a bit like the two tasty subjects of our article this week!

Artichoke hearts and EVO oil: winning preparation

The artichokes in oil, obtained from the best selection of the product, processed according to traditional methods and rigorously peeled by hand, are able to satisfy even the most demanding palates. Cooked in water and vinegar to make them crunchy and tasty, they are preserved in extra virgin olive oil and flavored with spices such as garlic, parsley and only a hint of chilli.

100% natural, with no added preservatives or dyes, our artichoke hearts are the perfect accompaniment to dishes, both daily and special or simply served as an appetizer.

Since we Bonamini are all for practical advice, here is a fresh one just for you: the extra virgin olive oil remaining in the jar after your feast of the delicious artichokes is already flavored and of high quality. So, a good thing would be to use it or rather RE-use it as a condiment for pasta dishes, salads, recipes with artichokes in oil and boiled eggs or simply on a delicious slice of fresh toasted bread, for our classic and beloved bruschetta.

But this is how we prepare them … and what if you had two distinct products available: fresh artichoke hearts on one side and EVO oil on the other? So what would be the best way to make homemade artichokes in oil? However, know that it is a preparation that certainly requires time and patience but which amply repays the work done!

Always choose the smallest artichokes, as they are tastier and easier to handle; clean them well, taking care to remove the excess leaves and the stem. Only the soul of the vegetable will be used for your preparation, hence the name of artichoke hearts.

Then fill a large bowl of water with two open lemons, coarse salt and a piece of bread to absorb and let the artichokes rest for at least a couple of hours. Then proceed to cooking them, first bringing vinegar, water and salt to the boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes and let it cool.

Now place them upside down on a baking dish with absorbent paper so as to be sure to remove all the water infiltrated during cooking of our artichoke hearts and then let it cool completely. Fill the selected and sterilized jars with dry artichokes, cover everything with plenty of extra virgin olive oil (we recommend our Santa Giustina) and some peppercorns.

Et voila! To the classic question “how are artichokes in oil made?” we answered and now the apologies are over. If you have the good will to experiment with our advice in your kitchen we are sure that it will be a winning result, if instead you feel lazy but want something that whets your appetite, remember that the best artichoke hearts in extra virgin olive oil, you have at your fingertips in our shop or just a click away on our online shop.

The best EVO for preserving artichokes in oil

The summer season gives us a large quantity of vegetables, see our artichoke hearts for example, and it is not always possible for us to consume them all; this is why conservation in oil remains the only solution for tasting the most popular vegetables even in the cooler months such as autumn and winter.

But which oil is preferred in the preparation of the beloved and traditional preserves?

Very often the choice unfortunately falls on the one that has the lowest price on the market, therefore the classic seed oil. But, if you look at it from this point of view, then the answer to our question leaves no room for some uncertainties!

But it is right to remember that even in a crisis regime, the “savings” item will never exceed or even be put on a par with the “health” item and therefore go to the detriment of the health benefits offered by the classic good food perfect for for example to preserve artichokes in oil, that is: extra virgin olive oil.

In fact, extra virgin olive oil has a set of properties that make it the optimal choice for the perfect preservation of food, three of which it is important to mention, in this case, its marked tendency to oxidative resistance. Unfortunately, the other oils do not possess these favorite characteristics of our EVO oil and having lower oxidative values, they easily go rancid and therefore greatly reduce the time of possible preservation of the product.

Our advice for getting the best preserves is this:

for vegetables with a less pronounced flavor, such as artichoke hearts in this case, always choose an extra virgin olive oil with an original, strong flavor and possibly with a bitter and spicy aftertaste.

This description seems to marry perfectly with more than one of our extra virgin olive oils such as our Monocultivar Grignano, our Vert de Vertes or, for those who do not intend to exceed too much, our basic and traditional EVO, the San Felice.

3 summer recipes with artichokes in oil

  1. Skewers of artichokes in oil and Parmesan: a very simple and super quick appetizer to make. Just buy a few ingredients to prepare a delicious and fresh dish, perfect for the summer evenings that await you, perhaps in front of a cool glass of Cort’Emilia Bonamini white wine, Of your choice among our Soave, Lugana and Prosecco DOCG Extra Dry.
  2. Cold pasta with artichoke hearts in oil, tuna and olives: the classic recipe for pasta with artichokes but with two additions of a certain importance; to be consumed cold, perfect solution for summer lunches where the heat is strongly felt. We provide you with everything, you just have to put your will into the preparation, which in addition to being quick will also be extremely satisfying. Hand-made mezze penne of durum wheat semolina, tasty tuna fillets in extra virgin olive oil, fine pitted olives characterized by an intense and persistent taste in high quality EVO oil and obviously crunchy spiced artichokes in oil.
  3. Fennel, corn and artichoke salad: always in season and an ideal combination with meat or fish main courses, this salad represents the perfect balance at the table. In its sweet, bitter and spicy components, it manages to give that feeling of freshness that we forget to love during the cold winter months, but that we like to rediscover with the arrival of summer. The recipe with artichokes in oil that we have all been waiting for … to keep in the refrigerator for a few days if not seasoned. But when the time comes to serve it to your guests or your family, we recommend the use of an extra virgin olive oil capable of enhancing all its flavor notes, which are varied and infinite. An extra virgin like our Valsecca or Campo di Casa, two staples of Bonamini’s selection of EVO oils.
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