Baby Purple Artichoke

General information:

Artichokes are actually a flower bud - if allowed to flower, blossoms measure up to seven inches in diameter and are a violet-blue color. Artichokes are a close relative to the thistle. The baby artichoke is usually small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. If cooked thoroughly, the entire artichoke is edible. Steam or saute thoroughly and serve with your choice of "dippings." High in potassium, vitamins A and C.

These beautiful baby artichokes were developed in 2004 from traditional European varieties, such as French 'Violet de Provence' and Italian cousins in Sicily, Tuscany, and Venice, like 'Violetto di Toscana'.

This Fiesole is similar to the European Violettos. Wonderful when steamed, they are also delicious raw. Some peel the stem and eat it raw dipped in olive oil with salt and pepper. They also make attractive additions to salads.