Baby Artichoke Crostini

baby artichokes

You know my favorite thing about living in Boston?  The Haymarket.  Back in the day, in the 1800s, the Haymarket was the place to shop in Boston, with pushcarts crowding the square. Today, the Haymarket boasts rows of tarp-covered produce stalls, run by vendors who purchase the leftovers from local distributors.  Occasionally the produce can be a bit over-ripe, but it’s always a great deal. The produce bargains almost make up for the outrageous Boston rent.  Almost. Last weekend I bought a dozen apples, a pound of salad greens, a bunch of carrots, a bag of onions, an avocado, a handful of chilis, a pineapple, a pint of figs and a dozen baby artichokes, all for $11. 

baby artichoke crostiniWhen I saw the baby artichokes I couldn’t resist.  Artichokes, which are typically considered in-season in early spring, have a second, lighter crop in the fall.  And baby artichokes, in their tender sweetness, are a special indulgence which usually cost a fortune.  A dozen for a dollar was quite a bargain! Baby artichokes are lovely braised in wine and garlic, but today I was in the mood for something a bit lighter, and a bit more portable.  We’ve been taking advantage of the crisp fall weather and having wine and nibbles on our roof deck, and these artichoke crostini are a perfect hors d’oeuvre.

It’s important to slice the baby artichokes very thin, and to let them sit in the vinaigrette for at least a half an hour to soften and absorb the flavor of the balsamic. Eaten raw, the fresh, clean taste of the artichokes shines. You could certainly add a few shavings of pecorino romano if you like, but I think these crostini are beautifully simple and wonderfully flavorful as is. 

artichoke brushetta

Baby Artichoke Crostini

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

4 baby artichokes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

12 thin (about 1/4 inch) slices baguette, toasted

1 clove garlic, peeled and halved

Remove the outer leaves from the artichokes.  Cut off the top of each artichoke and trim the bottoms.  Thinly slice the artichokes (use a mandoline slicer if you have one).  Toss the artichokes with the oil and vinegar.  Add salt to taste. Let the artichokes marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Add the basil to the artichoke mixture just before serving,

Rub the toasted bread with the garlic and then discard the rest of the garlic clove.  Top each piece of toast with a spoonful of the artichoke mixture.  Serve immediately.

babay artichoke salad

Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 5:09 am  Comments (24)  
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24 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What’s not to love! Artichokes on perfectly toasted bread. Awesome, Katie 🙂

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  2. Oh, these are WONDERFUL, Katie!! I haven’t had baby artichokes since Rome years ago, and didn’t even know you could get them here. I will have to keep my eyes open for sure! 🙂

  3. I am looking out for baby artichokes over here. They look so much easier to handle than the biggies 🙂

  4. You know what I miss most about living in Boston? Everything. Haymarket being included in that list.

    These crostini look fantastic! Why have I never thought to use artichokes like this before?!?!?

  5. Oh Katie! those look wonderful 🙂 I need to make these sometime soon for me and hubby. It will be a great dinner treat.

  6. I have had the tastiest baby artichokes in Italy one time thirty years ago and that left an indelible souvenir; if I see these cuties again I will try them raw, have never done it before. Looks good!

  7. Ooh don’t you just love a bargain like that! They look divine! 🙂

  8. These crostini look divine!

  9. Beautiful! Love artichokes + crostini!!

  10. $11? You’re my hero. I saw baby artichokes in the market the other day and wondered why I was seeing them. Nice to know that they’ve got a second breath in the fall.

  11. I absolutely adore artichokes but seldom make them for myself. These little crostini sound wonderful!

  12. I’m always intimidated by cooking with fresh artichokes but this looks so good that I really need to get over my fear!

    And who doesn’t love getting a good bargain!

  13. This market sounds wonderful and what a great price for all of those wonderful goodies! I watch House Hunters on HGTV and I’ve seen the prices in Boston. Yikes!

  14. What beautiful little bites. Those would be fabulous for when guests come over.
    *kisses* HH

  15. I would never think to buy baby artichokes, let alone cook them the way you did. This dish looks incredible – so fancy!

  16. Simple and impressive! Trader Joe’s sells baby artichokes. I’ll pick some up the next time I’m shopping.

  17. This market sounds like it offers incredible value for fresh produce – something that is a rarity these days. This is one of the more creative recipes for artichokes. I’m looking forward to trying this when I can get my hands on some good artichokes.

  18. Gosh, I feel so embarrassed to have only used artichoke hearts from cans before! The fresh kind just seem so intimidating… You put me to envious delicious shame 😉

  19. Hi Katie,
    It’s great to meet you.Just stopped by and love your baby artichokes little wonders! They look so delicious!

  20. Katie,

    I used to live just a stone’s throw from Haymarket and couldn’t agree more – It’s one of my favorite parts of the city! These artichoke crostini are a perfect tribute to the market’s offerings. Great job, and thanks for sharing!

  21. Wow, what a deal–all that bounty for $11! I love baby artichokes and so rarely find them. Your recipe is delectable.

  22. Artichokes always seem classy to me…and this application sounds beyond fantastic! Simply delicious 🙂 …and what a steal- all that goodness for just $11! Rock on!

  23. this is so lovely.. i love artichokes so much i put them in everything:) thank you for sharing this.

  24. As I saw this post I realized I haven’t had artichokes in months! They are one of my favorite foods, so I definitely need to fix that…this looks like a delicious way to enjoy them!

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