Castroville Artichoke

June 08th, 2006  | Category: Memoir/Meme/Misc., Restaurants, Vegetarian

Castroville Artichoke

It was right after my graduation… Baking Fairy and I were residing at the foggy 22nd and Balboa in San Francisco. I was desperately looking for work, she was still studying… We needed a change, so we decided to take a trip to LA. To make the trip more enjoyable, we decided to take Highway 1. I guess it added a couple of exhausting hours to the trip, but it was one of the best 8 hours ever.

Right after the amazing Carmel (which is my dream spot after retiring), we stopped at a restaurant called Nepenthe. We fell in love with The Big Sur right then and there. It was exceptionally foggy and we felt like we were eating above the clouds. The restaurant has a live camera; take a look here. The gift shop located just below the restaurant had an amazing selection of soaps and other very tasteful items.

On my second visit to this restaurant, I remember trying one of the appetizers called the Castroville Artichoke. It is basically a poached and chilled artichoke with balsamic vinaigrette on the side.

When my father brought the above poached (and chilled) artichoke to work yesterday and started telling me about how incredible it is that you can find a million ways to eat an artichoke, the appetizer I ate at Nepenthe instantly came to my mind. It was definitely not an earth shattering food experience; it just reminded me how much I missed California.

For the vinaigrette, I used balsamic vinegar, olive oil and white pepper.

Castroville Artichoke 2

You can find Martha’s favorite vinaigrette here, or you can go wild with a citrus-basil vinaigrette or a vegan fat-free raspberry vinaigrette.

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  1. 1 - evrenbal on June 8th, 2006

    Gercekten harika bir sunum! I adore it! elinize saglik.

  2. 2 - Buyuk Kus on June 20th, 2006

    Looks like Sweetbread

  3. 3 - papatya on June 22nd, 2006

    Enginara bayılırım 🙂 Her türlüsüne.. hatta Giritte yaptıkları gibi çiğ salatasına bile 🙂 Denemediyseniz tavsiye ederim. Özellikle de -blogumda da sözünü ettiğim- dikenli olan yabani cins enginardan. O kadar lezzetli oluyor ki… Mmmmmm…

  4. 4 - L on July 28th, 2006

    Hi Cenk

    Mmm. I love artichokes. Haven’t had a whole one that I deconstructed in a long time! It looks good!

    Specifically on the photo, I like the composition… that angle displays the circles that the leaves make really well and draws the eye right in. But I have two pieces of feedback since you asked. The focus isn’t quite as crisp as it should be… a little more depth of field might have been necessary… and I think it would have been stronger zoomed in a bit more. Since there isn’t a lot of color in the image, you want the textures to really stand out. Hope this helps!


  5. 5 - Cenk on July 28th, 2006

    Hi Lara
    It is very helpful indeed. Thanks for the feedback. Thinking back, most of the photos I have taken dont have a whole lot of color. So I will definitely keep those in mind the next time.

  6. 6 - matt on August 12th, 2006

    I am such a fan of artichokes and found your site through Lara of Still Life With…

    Your photo is gorgeous and shows wonderful detail, but most importantly it makes me want to jump into it and eat it!


  7. 7 - Cenk on August 13th, 2006

    Thank you for the compliment Matt! It is very encouraging to hear this from a pro.

  8. 8 - Nani on June 17th, 2008

    Hi Cenk

    The SF article about you was forwarded to me by my agent because my family owns Nepenthe restaurant and I’m in the middle of writing a book about the place, the history, food, etc. It was a delight to just know you know about it–there across the world. In turn, I would love to come to Turkey some day. I have family in Greece, and once imagined its shores on a long boat ride up the coast to see them.

    Continue with your good work.

    All best, Nani
    by the way–there is a new artichoke on the menu–grilled, on a bed of white beans with a little arugula, and a horseradish mayonaise.

  9. 9 - Cenk on June 18th, 2008

    Nani – This is unbelievable! Such a small world.. Thanks for writing! I can’t wait to see your book and also try the new grilled artichoke on my next visit to Nepenthe.

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