May 4, 2012

Monthly Cooking Adventure: Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

"Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke." -- All About Eve.

 This month's recipe actually features artichoke bottoms, not hearts, and let me tell you -- it took some effort to find them! I know I should have just butchered my own, but I was feeling quite lazy yesterday, especially knowing that I'd be cooking a full meal for three guests later on! So I used canned artichoke bottoms. Lazy, yes. And delicious? Oh, yes yes yes! So I recommend laziness if that's where you are. And, if so, this recipe comes together so quickly it's just delightful.

Because the vegetarian isn't crazy about artichokes, and therefore wouldn't be eating them, I treated myself to the addition of an omnivore ingredient -- anchovies. In my opinion, anchovies get a totally undeserved bad reputation. As our friend Hill put it last night -- they're like delicious additions of salt. And, really, how bad can that be? (For a vegetarian version, add 1 tablespoon soya sauce.) Along with some garlic and sour lemon juice and zest, they were the perfect accompaniment to our Arugula and Fava-Bean Crostini and Smoky Fried Rice. To drink I recommend an Espiral vinho verde. Enjoy!

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms
Adapted from The Book of Jewish Food

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix anchovies (or soya sauce), garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, oil and lemon juice and zest together in a medium-sized bowl. Place artichoke bottoms in a baking dish and fill with stuffing. Pour water around artichokes, making sure it doesn't reach the filling. Bake 25 minutes. Serve at room temperature. Bon appetit!

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