Sunday, May 20, 2012

Marinated Artichoke Hearts #SundaySupper

I love artichokes in all forms - I love giant stuffed artichokes and I love marinated artichoke hearts and I love artichokes when they're added to entrees. Or pasta.

So when I found a recipe for marinated artichokes in Cristina Ferrare's cookbook Big Bowl of Love, I figured I'd try it.

She suggests starting with frozen artichokes rather than doing all the work required to clean a whole bunch of fresh artichokes to get to the hearts. And I completely agree.

Except, after scouring the frozen food aisles, I couldn't find any artichokes. I know I bought them before, but I don't recall where. All I know is that where I was shopping there were a billion varieties of frozen potato products, but not a single frozen artichoke heart.

On the other hand, I had some canned artichokes right there in my pantry. Not canned marinated, but just cooked and canned. Perfect!

Well, not completely perfect, but it was a good brand and it worked perfectly in this recipe.

But I've got to say, if you ever see the frozen artichoke hearts, buy them. they're really, really good. Next time I see them I'm going to stock up, that's for sure.

Unlike the jarred marinated hearts, these aren't swimming in oil, and they taste fresher, thanks to the green flavor of the parsley.

The only problem I had with this recipe was that they smelled so darned good while I was cooking them that they almost didn't last long enough to get photographed.

I know you're supposed to let them cool and serve them at room temperature, but they were amazing while they were hot from the pan. I'd be perfectly happy to have these as a side dish.

Or, like may things I make, serve them hot the first day and cold on the second day. Maybe warm with pasta for a main dish, and then chilled for a cold pasta salad on Day 2.

Or warm as a side dish on the first day, and chilled for an appetizer - maybe with some parmesan cheese shaved over the top - on the second day.

Or - OH! Grate some parm over the top and let them broil just a little bit.

There's also a recipe for an artichoke dip in the book that uses these artichokes. Yeah, next time I'm making a double - or triple - batch. I'll admit it, I'm kind of in love with this recipe.

Marinated Artichokes
From Big Bowl of Love by Cristina Ferrare
Used with permission; all rights reserved

2 pounds frozen artichoke hearts
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pieces garlic, peeled and sliced thin
Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 lemon, sliced very thin, for garnish

Cook the frozen artichoke hearts according to package directions. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Heat a frying pan until hot. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, and swirl it around in the pan. Add the garlic and saute, shaking the pan back and forth so the garlic doesn't burn.

The minute the garlic starts to turn golden, quickly add the artichoke hearts.

Lower the heat and continue to shake the artichokes back and forth. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the red pepper.

Using a metal spoon, stir and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the artichokes start to caramelize.

Pour the artichokes into a serving bowl, add the lemon juice, and stir. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil over the top. Add a pinch of kosher salt, sprinkle on the parsley, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Garnish with a slice of lemon.

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