Last month I had the most incredible opportunity to visit Ocean Mist Farms on behalf of Safeway on one of their Safeway Blogger Tours. I love farm tours, restaurant visits, and anything that has to do with gaining a better understanding of where our food comes from and learning about the people who are so passionate about growing the food that nourishes are bodies.
Ocean Mist Farms is a family owned business that started over 90 years ago that started off in a little shed at Del Monte Junction. Their business began to grow and expanded into other vegetables such as asparagus, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, iceberg lettuce, and more. Throughout their incredible journey of growth, they have continued their commitment creating producing quality from soil to table. Today they are the largest grower of artichokes in the US.
Artichokes are probably one of the most underestimated superfood powerhouses. Artichokes rank #1 in antioxidants, contain 4g of protein, and has a unique form of prebiotic called inulin. Inulin not only helps improves gut health by supporting the growth of healthy bacteria, but also decreases the body’s ability to create a certain type of fat. Great for anyone who’s looking to reduce their body fat.
One of the things that I had learned during the farm tour was how artichokes were used as medicinal tonics in the Mediterranean and Eastern medicine cultures thousands of years ago. Artichoke herbal teas are rich in vitamin A, B, and C, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and dietary fiber. The teas were also used as a diuretic and helped to reduce cholesterol.
During the tour they shared their growing practices with us and I even had the opportunity to harvest my own. After playing around in the fields we were treated to an incredible meal on the farm. A true farm to table experience hosted by Ocean Mist Farms and some of Safeway’s other partners Chandon, and Sun Pacific, the grower of one of our favorite snacks here at home, Cuties!
Our lunch included the following tasty menu:
Chandon Rosé Wine Sprizer with Fresh Berries
Café Azteca with O Organics French Roast Coffee and Cutie Infused Cream
A Selection of Perfect Ocean Mist Produce including butter lettuce, baby broccoli, artichoke heart, asparagus, O Organics Chicken Breast and a soft poached egg, dressed with Chandon Brut Vinaigrette and paired with a glass of chilled Chandon Brut
Crème Brulee with Cutie Ginger Marmalade and paired with Chandon Sweet Star
I think one of the reasons why most people stray away from making artichokes at home is because of how intimidating it can be. But like most of my cooking, I like to keep things simple, fresh, and easy. I recently got an Instant Pot after hearing from so many people how life-changing it is. Although I can’t quite say that it's been "life-changing", it does make cooking artichokes a whole lot easier.
Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes
with Mandarin Garlic Aioli
Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes + Mandarin Aioli
4-6 artichokes trimmed (A 6qt Instant pot can fit about this amount depending on the size of the artichokes)
1 cup water
3 cloves garlic
1 fresh lemon wedge
Put the garlic cloves in the center of your artichoke. Doing this will help to release the aromatics from the inside/out. You can also just place the garlic cloves inside the instant pot with the water, but that’s not fun.
Pour the water into your Instant Pot, and place the steamer basket on the bottom of the pot.
Rub the lemon wedge all over the outside of the trimmed artichokes. (This helps add flavor and prevent browning/oxidizing.) Place the artichokes in a single layer on top of the steamer basket, and toss the lemon wedge in the water below. Close lid securely and set the vent to “Sealing”.
Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 10 minutes*. Cook. Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped. Remove the lid.
Carefully use a pair of tongs to remove the artichokes from the Instant Pot, and serve immediately with your dipping sauce of choice or the mandarin aioli. Enjoy!
Mandarin Aioli Recipe
1 tbs of minced garlic
1 tsp of finely grated mandarin zest
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
2 tbs of olive oil
1 TBS of fresh lemon juice
Juice from 1 mandarin
Combined all the ingredients, except for the mandarin zest, together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in mandarin zest and let it cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Shop at your local Safeway for all the ingredients, or even better, purchase them online via Safeway Home Delivery (Powered by Instacart) and have them brought to your doorstep! You get $10 Off + FREE Delivery on your first online order when you spend $35 or more*
- Promo Code: TENFREE
- Disclaimer *Service through and subject to the terms and conditions of our third-party delivery provider, Instacart. Requires Instacart account. Special pricing & fees may apply. Service available in select areas. Enter your zip code online to find if service is available in your location. Offer limited to first-time Instacart users & must be used within 7 days of signup. Minimum order of $35 before taxes, fees, discounts, deposits required. Expires 6/30/2018. See additional terms at http://bit.ly/instacartterms
- Other delivery options available. For pricing, fees and terms, see [shop.safeway.com]
This post was sponsored by Safeway, but all opinions are 100% my own. #SWYBloggerTours