Starting this week for 26 weeks, I am going through the alphabet food-wise.
Each week I'll do a post on a food or cuisine that starts with that weeks letter. How much fun with that be? Hopefully some. Let's find out.
A is for Artichoke.
Who: The Artichoke.
What: A leafy vegetable and a member of the thistle family.
When: Peak season is March thru May, but they are readily available year round.
Where: Louisiana and California grow almost all artichokes sold in North America.
Why: Artichokes are good sources of Vitamin C, Potassium and Folate. They are also fat free.
For years it seemed the only way artichokes were served was steamed whole, with butter or mayonnaise on the side for you to dip the leaves in. Now the hearts (the best part) turn up everywhere: salads, pasta, pizza, sandwiches; you are only limited by your imagination.
In addition to buying them whole, you are also buy artichokes canned, marinated in jars and frozen.
If you want to learn how to clean and cook artichokes, click here.
Makes about 24
Adapted from City Palate Magazine
8 slices of bread
soft butter or margarine
1 large jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
3 tb mayonnaise
2 tb lemon juice
salt and pepper
Cut 3 - 2" circles out the bread, giving you 24 total. Spread one side of each round with a small amount of butter, and press, butter side down, into a mini muffin tin. Drain and chop the artichokes roughly, then mix with the cheese, pepper, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then fill the tart shells. Bake for 15 minutes at 425'.
Be sure to let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Artichoke Hearts with Kalamata Olive and Tomato Dressing
serves 2-4 people
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 of a medium tomato, seeded and diced
5 kalamata olives pitted and chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tb red wine vinegar
Cut the hearts in half (or quarters if they are large) and place on your serving plate.
In a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender, combine the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Spoon over the artichokes and serve
Artichoke and Parmesan Crostini
8 slices of baguette
1 clove garlic, cut in half
2 tb mayonnaise
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
4 tb grated parmesan cheese
Toast the baguette.
Put the garlic in a food processor and chop. Drain the artichokes, add to the processor and chop again. Add the mayo and cheese and pulse to combine.
Season with pepper to taste, and spread on the baguette slices.