Summer vegetables are amazing. I get so excited when we get our garden started this time of year and then forget that I have to wait before the plants actually produce anything. Just when it seems like tomatoes and corn and squash are right around the corner, it turns out they’re still a couple months out. So what’s a summer produce loving girl supposed to do? Embrace spring vegetables, which, for me, meant trying fresh artichokes for the first time.
Artichokes are sort of prehistoric looking, don’t you think? The thorns and seemingly complicated process of preparing them turned me off for a long time. As good as the recipes I saw looked, figuring out how to cook them didn’t seem worth it since I had no idea if I would even like them (I only feel so-so about the canned variety). But when I was shopping a couple weeks ago and needed a vegetable to grill, I figured it was as good of time as any to finally tackle these because, well, nothing else was jumping out at me and the baby artichokes didn’t look as intimidating.
You know where this is going. I tried them. I loved them. Grilling makes everything better and all that. I probably shouldn’t admit that I had to Google how to eat artichokes, but I totally did. Sadly, I didn’t do that until after having several bites that were basically inedible. Learn from my mistake! (Here’s a video in case you’re an artichoke newbie like I was.)
This salad is the spring version of the roasted winter vegetable chopped salad I posted a couple months ago (and inspired by the version I had while visiting my pal Josie last year). In addition to the artichokes, this version has bright green peas and some delicious pea shoots to top it all off. They’re fresh and bright, and they contrast well with the grilled romaine and artichokes. Summer will be here before we know it, but now I’ve got something to hold me over until my beloved tomatoes and corn are back in season. Oh! If you have leftover dressing, I highly recommend brushing it on a few slices of crusty bread and grilling those.