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Artichoke Lemon Pesto

Artichoke Lemon Pesto

So there we were, sitting amid the vineyards at Rusack Winery outside Santa Barbara, savoring the day with an ample picnic lunch that included a jar of artichoke lemon pesto.  March 2011 425 The soppressata, salami and cheese were perfect with the wine and we all loved the artichoke pesto too. Who can complain when you’re surrounded with good friends, good food, good wine and a landscape as beautiful as this? March 2011 428 I wasn’t complaining, but whenever I see upscale (read high-priced) delicious products like the artichoke pesto, my mind starts thinking about how to replicate the recipe in my kitchen,  so I set to work trying soon after returning home. It didn’t take much – just a bit of tasting here, a pinch of herbs there, a few pulses in the food processor, and voila – I had a quick and delicious snack to serve with crackers, or a wonderful sauce to toss with pasta.  April 2011 016 My recipe calls for 3 T. olive oil, but you can use more if you prefer it looser. Speaking of olive oil, I got a box in the mail the other day with six containers of olive oil from Tre Olive, an operation in Calabria owned by Joe of and his family. May 2011 002 Joe’s family has been in the business since 1934 and they’ve come up with a unique way to market their product – adopting an olive tree. grove4 When you adopt a tree for a year, you’ll get a certificate of adoption, a photo of “your” tree, plus three liters of olive oil from the family groves in Calabria. I love this idea for gift-giving, especially since Father’s Day isn’t too far off, and my father’s family hails from Calabria.  It’s another way of bringing a bit of the homeland here to the states. Bravo Joe. Artichoke Lemon Spread printable recipe here

  • 1  14-ounce can of artichoke hearts  in water (unseasoned)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 c. finely chopped parsley
  • a few small sprigs of thyme, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 t. lemon peel, finely minced
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • salt, pepper

Mince the parsley and thyme roughly with the garlic and lemon peel. Place the artichoke hearts, the parsley and thyme and all the remaining ingredients into a food processor. Pulse or whir until everything is chopped finely and blended. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

This Post Has 28 Comments
  1. Good a.m. Carciofi Lady.
    I make this and serve this with sliced meat on crostini w/ arugula for parties……I forgot all about it!
    I will go to Joe's site and order some of that Calabrian oil. It sounds wonderful.

  2. I love the view from Rusack-it's the perfect place for a picnic! Thanks for the great recipe and I want some of that oil.

  3. I'm so like you when I see a product that I feel I can duplicate for less $$ AND without a doubt fresher tasting. Your recipe looks perfect! and so does the view!

  4. Stacey has artichokes on her blog today, I ate leftover grilled artichokes for lunch today and now I see this on your blog, I'm in artichoke heaven!I made something like this before but I believe I threw in some chopped tomato, I like your version better, perfect for munching, I just wish I had that view! I will check out Joe's olive oil, love the packaging and the thought of adopting the tree.

  5. Oh, yum, I can't wait to try this pesto. I could do real damage to a box of crackers if I had a bowl of this right now.

    An artichoke vendor will be next to me at the farmer's market before long. I've bookmarked this recipe in anticipating.

  6. Oh my God Linda, this looks amazing! You must have hadthat visit with a California friend you were looking forward to. When our porch is clean and this damn rain stops, please join us in Allentown for wine and food.

  7. I have bought this prepared and have yet to make it. And now I will. I love the bright lemony flavors and the idea that it is healthy… or am I dreaming? Thought about adopting an olive tree for my mother… I must investigate when I get home.

  8. I am very fortunate to live about 20 minutes from the Artichoke Capitol of the World– Castroville. I could eat artichokes every day and never tire of them. I'm working on perfecting a cream of artichoke soup. However, who knew that I could make a pesto out of it? What a great recipe, and I'm so borrowing this one from you. How I love Santa Barbara, and it's warm climate. I checked out the website. What a great idea!

  9. This sounds delicious, Linda. I love artichokes and will have to try this. It reminds me of a hot dip I make, but I like yours because there's no cooking involved. How do you go about adopting one of Joe's olive trees? I will have to check out his blog. Sounds like a great thing to do!

  10. What a lovely spread and what perfect timing. We'll be with a gang this weekend and make ahead appetizers ease the stress of entertaining so many. This looks wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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