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Eat Your (Artichoke) Heart Out

Here at Oliver’s, our roots are in produce. It started with our owner, Steve Maass, selling produce from his produce truck back in the 1970s! We are very excited to offer the Globe artichoke, an heirloom variety, on sale this week for $1.99 each. Over the years, we have seen other artichoke varieties saturate the market that are easier to grow, and available for us to carry year-round. Unfortunately, they are nothing like their big brother, the Globe.

This week we will be offering the largest size of heirloom Globe artichokes available, grown by Ocean Mist farm in Castroville, CA for over 90 years. This once prominent variety is packed with the meaty texture we all remember. However, the heart is truly the real deal. It’s almost twice the size of other varieties and tastes twice as good. Please enjoy these limited beauties this week as they make a guest appearance in our Produce Departments.

How to Choose a Globe Artichoke

Look for an artichoke with tightly packed, crisp green or purple leaves with a slight bloom. A fresh artichoke should feel heavy for its size, and the leaves should “squeak” when the bud is gently squeezed.

How to Prepare a Globe Artichoke

To serve whole, cut the tough tips of the leaves off, holding the stalk to keep the artichoke steady. Using a knife, slice the base off, so that it will sit upright, before trimming off the pointed top. Pull the pale center leaves off, then scoop the artichoke out with a spoon, without disturbing the heart underneath.

Cook the artichokes in a pot of boiling salted water for 30-45 minutes. When they’re ready, the leaves should come off easily. Drain the artichokes upside down.

You can eat artichokes with a variety of dipping sauces. Here are a couple of our favorites.

Lemon Garlic Aioli

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Creamy Ginger-Soy Dip

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger (or 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger)
  • 3 green onions, minced

In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, soy sauce and dried ginger until well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings in necessary. Add minced green onions and stir well. Serve immediately.  


About the Author: Matt Rice

Matt Rice

Matt Rice is Oliver's intrepid blogger on all topics related to wine, beer, cider, spirits, and other gourmet products.


Where "Local" Means Sonoma County

To us Local means Sonoma County -- period. Not Marin, not Napa, and definitely not the state of California, as some of our competitors define it.

From the day we opened our doors in 1988, we’ve built our business on the simple premise that the best food and wine in the world are produced here, in Sonoma County. We didn’t feel like we were pioneers at the time, but as people have come to understand and embrace the value of locally grown and made food and the value of shopping locally, we realize we were part of the early days of the movement.

As a Sonoma County business, we’ve built enduring relationships with local growers, makers, and manufacturers, because they make the foods and wines we love. Many of them were getting started when we were. Now they are nationally known, but for us, they are still old friends who often delivered products to our Cotati store in their cars back in the late 1980s.

Along with local products being excellent choices for taste and quality reasons, buying locally also improves our local economy. The dollars you spend at local retailers buying local products support other local businesses and our tax base, too!

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