Neanderthal style


Illustration by SERENE LUSANO

If you’ve ever been to Monterey County, you’ve seen the acres of spiky artichoke thistles grown there. These are primarily the green globe variety, now in markets after a winter break. Most people drown these primitive-looking flowers in butter and gnaw off the flesh with their teeth. If you aren’t feeling the Neanderthal vibe, look for baby artichokes or smaller varieties that can be cooked and eaten whole. Beautiful wine-colored flowerlets are stunning tossed with pasta and garlic, or try roasting them dressed in oil, lemon and chili flakes until crisp-tender.