Friday, November 12, 2010

Artichokes + Garlic = Heaven

Inspiration can strike at the oddest times. As I shopped with a friend in a culinary store, we happened upon 'Artichoke Garlic Sauce,' and I decided to create my own version the next time I played in my kitchen. That time was this afternoon, and the result was smooth and seductive with a bit of bite and chunkiness.

This combination is more of a spread, but the flavors are unmistakable. My taste testers and I tried some atop buttered bread slices that were broiled crisp, on whole wheat crackers, and right off of the spoon. We also thought it would make a good pizza 'sauce,' or a sandwich spread paired with provolone cheese and romaine. A glass of Chardonnay is a perfect complement. See what you think of this...

Artichoke Garlic Spread
Generously covers five large slices of French bread

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 can artichoke hearts, diced fine
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Saute garlic in olive oil over medium high heat, until slightly browned. Add two tablespoons butter and stir until melted. Add artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and pepper. Combine thoroughly and cook uncovered, over medium heat, for 15-20 minutes or until extra liquid has evaporated. This should yield approximately 3/4 cups. Set aside.

Put half of this mixture in a food processor with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and puree. Remove puree from processor and stir in remaining artichoke mixture. Spread and enjoy.

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