Liza Schoenfein celebrates artichoke season with two different dishes: a light salad and a spring vegetable stew.
Seduced by the Italian dish, carciofi a la giudía or Jewish artichokes, Tamar Adler set out with 60 artichokes and vats of oil before a Seder. But little went as planned.
I wasn’t introduced to artichokes until I was ten and I’m not sure how I survived those ten years without them. Scary looking on the outside, but delicate, meaty, and a fun appetizer activity on the inside. Artichoke quickly became a staple at our family Shabbat dinner table, kids scrambling to drag the leaves through their teeth and reach the flavorful heart.
Traditional Italian cooking and dining have much in common with Jewish culinary rituals. Families preserve cultural dishes, often passed down from one’s great-grandmother, to mark all manner of family dinners and holiday festivities. Italians, and Jews, no matter which region they hail from, express their passion for food by cooking, eating, and spending hours at the table with family and friends.
Yoshie and I arrived in New Orleans on a Friday morning. We were newlyweds on vacation, staying with our friend Josh for the Sabbath before spending a few days exploring the city.
Living close to San Mateo, CA, the artichoke producing capital of the US, I am lucky. For months, the delicious, complicated, decadent vegetables have appeared faithfully at my nearby farmer’s market.
For Jews spending time in Rome, no trip is complete without a trek to the Roman Ghetto and a taste of Carciofi alla Giudia, literally “Jewish Style Artichokes.”