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Currently, I am craving spring break.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

Only not spring break as an adult (what?? How did that happen?? I still feel sixteen most of the time), but spring break as a kid.

See, for me spring break does not really exist anymore. Which totally sucks, but I do have my memories. The best memories actually. I lived for spring break when I was a kid.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

Every year up until eighth grade when my family moved to Colorado we would always, always go visit my grandparents for Easter in Florida. My grandparents have lived in a few places throughout Florida. I think their first house was in Boca Raton, then Ocean Ridge and then they continued on up the coast to Jupiter, where they currently are. I have the most memories in the Jupiter house and I love that place.

Some people think of Jupiter as a kind of boring “old people” place, but you guys, it’s the best.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

It never gets super crowded, the weather is pretty hot since it’s down in the bottom half of the state, and everything is just calm, quiet and relaxing. Not sure why a kid like me cared about that stuff, I don’t know but I just loved it. I think what I really loved was being in Florida, by the water, shopping and palm trees. FYI,  I have a thing for palm trees. Meaning I have always loved them. Every time I fly into florida I get so exited when I see palm trees on the ground.

I know, so odd, especially for someone living on top of a mountain.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

The point is I am missing spring break and its carefree days of sunshine, family, Nonnie (grandma!), shopping and walking outside in flip-flops, shorts and a t-shirt.

Oh, and also when I was way younger, we would have the BEST Easter egg hunts. So fun.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

Double also, my mom was never prepared for Easter. This meant that 95% of the time she would be out on Easter Eve hitting up Walgreens for candy.

It’s so like her, BUT she never disappointed.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

Ok and since I am dreaming here, let me just tell you about the young me who was super adventurous and chased barracuda through the ocean and swam past sharks. Ah yeah, that was me. Of course I had no idea there actually was a shark and I also had no idea barracuda were killer fish.


Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

And the last thing, I miss shopping!! I know that sounds terrible, but my grandma and I used to shop till we dropped. Where I live there is one, no grandma around 🙁 and two, ZERO good shopping.

Mainly, I miss my grandma. She’s what made it all fun.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

But anyway, how about we talk about these beautiful, crispy artichokes? Artichokes that are sort of like a potato chip, but so much better.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

This recipe is kind of awesome because you can make a meal or an appetizer out of it.

The artichokes alone are honestly so good. I could eat them like you would crackers or potato chips. But then if you dip them in the pesto? Whoa, so good.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

My original idea was for a pasta. Only I had wanted to use baby artichokes so that they would be a smaller size and also easier to prep, but of course my grocery store does not carry baby artichokes. Ugh, I better just be happy they have artichokes.

The bigger artichokes worked great, but I still think that with the pasta baby artichokes would have been better, so if you can find them I would give those a try.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

The pesto is all kinds of good. There is mint, cilantro (or parsley if you have a thing against cilantro) and basil, but the real flavor comes from the asparagus. It’s different from basil pesto, but in a good way.

Plus, asparagus is everywhere right now and cheap too, so it is a good use of seasonal produce. Yay! Ok, that and I cannot get enough of it lately.

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 495 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Asparagus + Mint Pistachio Pesto Pasta

Fried Artichokes


  • Snap the very ends of the asparagus off. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to boil. Fill a medium size bowl with ice water. Blanche the asparagus for a few minutes, until just tender (about 3-4 minutes). Drain the asparagus and place in the bowl of ice water. Drain and dry well.
  • Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Add the asparagus to a food processor. Add the mint, cilantro, basil, pistachios, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt, pulse until until combined. Mix in the parmesan, taste and adjust as needed. Set aside or store in the fridge for up to one week.
  • When ready to serve make the artichokes. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, using a knife, trim off all but 2 inches of the leaves. Pull off and discard the dark green outer leaves, then peel and trim the bottom and the stem. Quarter the artichoke and scrape out the hairy choke (if using baby artichokes skip this step). Rub the artichoke quarters all over with the lemon half, squeeze the extra lemon juice into a small bowl of water and add the quartered artichoke to the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
  • In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the artichokes until they are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, transfer to a plate and pat dry.
  • In a medium high-sided skillet, heat 1 inch of oil over medium heat. Fry the artichokes until crisp on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the artichokes with cilantro (or parsley) lemon zest, and crushed red pepper. Season with sea salt.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil your pasta until al dente. Add the pesto to a large pasta bowl. Drain the pasta and toss with the pesto. Serve the artichokes with the pasta and fresh feta cheese. EAT!


*Pesto adapted from this [Moroccan Pesto |] *To make things easier, you can blanche the artichokes right after the asparagus before dumping the water. *The artichokes themselves are so good. I would serve them with the pesto as a dip for snacks or an appetizer. *Artichoke prep adapted from [Food and Wine |]
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Pan Fried Lemony Artichokes with Asparagus Pistachio Pesto Pasta |

So here’s to getting our veggies on Monday!

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    1. Hi there! You can try roasting them at 425. That should work well. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  1. This looks delicious! I love artichokes, asparagus and pesto pasta! Can I use canned artichokes hearts of fresh? And if so will a 14oz can suffice?

    Thank you!

    1. I think a 14 ounces can should be great. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  2. seeing it,water is coming in my mouth. I’m very excited to make this pasta. i’ll make it tonight and serve my family. i hope they will like it.
    thank you

  3. What is that squiggly pasta called? I keep seeing recipes using it but no one ever happens to mention what it is called, and I simply must know. It has so many lovely little bends and texture to hold sauces. Want!

  4. Not to be that person but…..any short cut with the artichokes? Is there any way canned artichoke hearts wouldn’t turn out a soggy mushy mess? This looks amazing!

  5. I love that you fried the artichokes (gah), and your grandma sounds wonderful. I often wish my grandma were around to do all the things for me and my kids that she used to do for my mom and my siblings. Wishful thinking.

    1. Luckily my grandma is only a plane ride away, but your comment makes me realize we need to make more time to visit!!

      Thanks Shaina!

  6. I think that everyone should get a spring break. The lemony artichokes look amazing!

  7. I’m all over these spring artichokes – I just had my first of the year this weekend, I’m sold!! And the pistachio element – inspired!

  8. What gorgeous photos! I attended a class in Jupiter many years ago…I’d love to be there right now, too. But we’re supposed to see 70° here this week, yay!!!

    1. 70! No way, I am so jealous. It’s snowing and more is predicted. Ugh.

      Enjoy the warmth! Thanks Brenda!

  9. This looks perfect for spring! We don’t get spring break here in Australia, but I have always craved our summer holidays. Even now as an adult it is the time of year where I just want to kick back and do nothing under the hot sun.
    Maybe you need to get a little indoor palm tree when you move into the barn?
    The artichokes look so delicious and crispy, I will have to scour our farmers markets for some little artichokes – one of the benefits of the subtropics 🙂 Hope you find some way to celebrate spring break!

    1. Haha! I love you idea, very smart and fun! 🙂 Also, I am so jealous of your weather, sounds awesome!

      Thanks so much, Amy!