Artichoke Proclaimed State Vegetable

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While California’s Governor Brown was in China on a trade mission, acting Governor Gavin Newsom signed a proclamation elevating the glorious artichoke to official state vegetable. Not to play favorites, other food groups were not ignored and officialness has been bestowed to; avocados, almonds and rice — at least for the duration of 2013.  The announcement was read live on the KGO New Radio program on April 10, 2013,  the culmination of a popularity contest run by the station thrilling thistle loving, leaf eating foodies around the state.

In celebration I’ve rounded up some of my favorite artichoke recipes dished up here at What about the food and revisited one of our best loved — artichokes stuffed with chorizo and grains. Whether you like to eat them leaf by leaf, marinated, deep fried, in pasta or soups there is something special about this thorny delight.

artichoke recipe pictures

Artichoke Stuffed with Spanish Chorizo and Barley

This recipe is easily adapted to what types of grain you have on hand or even what type of chorizo is available. Tasty with Israeli Couscous, Balsamic Rice Blend and this night I used a Barley, Pea and Lentil blend for my grain. Both Spanish style and Mexican style sausages lend spicy but different taste profiles. I tend to prefer the Spanish as it is less oily, but both infuse the stuffing with rich intense flavors.

Artichoke Stuffed with Spanish Chorizo and Barley
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Spicy chorizo adds intense flavors to favorite grains, herbs and vegetables to make a different type of meal.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Fusion
Serves: 2
  • 2 fresh extra large globe artichokes
  • 8 oz Hot or Mild Spanish Chorizo
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • ½ tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups cooked grain (barley, rice, coucous, quinoa)
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup cooking water from artichokes
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
  1. Place washed and trimmed artichokes In a medium pot, fill half way with water. Brush tops with lemon juice.
  2. Bring water to a boil and add 1 tsp dried minced onions, ¼ tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt.
  3. Gently boil for about 25 minutes until hearts are fork tender.
  4. Remove and let cool before removing the inner leaves and flower in preparation for stuffing.
  5. Chopped up onion, bell pepper and herbs finely.
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Dice Chorizo and cook over medium heat in a saute pan until slightly browned. Add bell pepper, onions and saute until just soft. Add grain, tomato paste to mixture.
  3. Add a bit of the artichoke cooking water to just moisten. Cook to combine flavors about 4 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and divide mixture into the cavity of the artichokes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place them in a baking pan, bake 15 minutes just to warm through and melt cheese.
Dipping Sauce 1 tablespoon mayonnaise ¼ cup sour cream 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish Blend ingredients and then divide into two small bowls, sprinkle with smoked paprika


Gavin Newsom Declares Official California Foods, Sacramento Bee

The Art of Artichoke, The Boulder Locavore  (more about artichokes)

Do you have an official state vegetable? If so, what is your favorite way to prepare it?

artichoke plants

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