Globe artichokes are in season now and Laura Avery chats with chef DJ Olsen, of Lou Wine Bar on Melrose and Vine in Hollywood, about them. He strips off all the leaves and choke to get to the delicious heart at the top of the stem. The heart travels through the stem of the artichoke. Some farmers bring the stem attached, which can be up to a foot long. Once trimmed, cut the heart into thin slices. Rub slices with lemon to keep it from browning. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and good quality olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Small artichokes are in season too. They have no chokes and are great to cook with. Peel off outer-most leaves to get to the light green leaves. Quarter the artichokes. Braise in skillet with olive oil, covered. Cook until soft when pierced with a fork. Top with Madeira or other sweet wine.
Farmer Doa Her comes down from Fresno with three different kinds of basil - lemon basil, Italian basil and Thai basil. Doa's family stuffs fish with Thai basil for a delicious result. They also bring amaranth -- a spinach-like leaf that has splashes of purple throughout.
Music break: The Swell Season by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova