Life is like eating artichokes; you have got to go through so much to get so little. Thomas Aloysius (Tad) Dorgan, Cartoonist
Preparing a fresh artichoke might seem a bit daunting to a novice cook. Why not let the chef in a restaurant handle all the trimming, steaming, sauce creating, and general mess? Fortunately, there are easier and cheaper ways to get to the heart of an artichoke.
Low calorie artichokes freeze better than many veggies as they retain their lovely form and delicate flavor when thawed. The only non-artichoke ingredient added to my frozen artichoke quarters prior to freezing was a little ascorbic or citric acid (Vitamin C). This naturally occurring compound passes my favorite test for packaged food - "would I use THAT ingredient if I made it myself?" Yes, as most artichoke recipes call for a bit of lemon juice. I even use it for the same reason; it keeps the artichokes from turning an unfortunate grayish color. If you need or prefer to use canned artichokes, give the hearts a quick rinse to remove sodium and any other chemical bits that are used in large scale canned food production. The BPA in cans does not pass the would you add it test, so rinse it off.
Roasted Artichoke Quarters and Banana Peppers (recipe below) is delicious with any of the following main dishes:
Fast, tender and juicy Panko Encrusted Chicken goes from your oven to the plate in 30 minutes. If you remember to set it to marinading in a zip lock bag before you leave for work in the morning, it's even faster to the oven.
Buggy's Buffalo Beef Meatloaf is pure savory goodness. if you have not tried buffalo, this is a great introduction to a very low fat meat.
Vegetarian? Caroline's Curried Tofu Spinach Salad is the perfect choice to pair with artichokes.
Try serving roasted artichokes with this simple marinated and Grilled Rosemary Chicken from DietsInReview.
1 baking dish large enough to allow the artichokes to sit in one layer
1 pound bag of frozen artichoke quarters, thawed
2 well ripened banana peppers (they’ll be orange), rinsed, seeded, and cut into chunks a little smaller than the hearts.
2 T olive oil (yes, you could use a little less if you are already nearing your daily dose of fat)
6 chopped garlic cloves or a couple good well rounded teaspoons of dried garlic powder.
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup Panko
1 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 375 F
In a medium sized bowl, gently combine the thawed artichoke quarters, pepperchunks, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, and Panko.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish (glass, non-stick, or foil lined) and pop it into the oven. Ignore for at least 45 minutes. Call your Mom, check your email, do something productive. My Mom said to tell everyone "hello."
Then go check to see how they are doing. Unless your oven runs hot, they will not be browned yet. But, just in case, check them and remove if they are browned. Increase the temperature to 425 F for the final 15 minutes to crisp the artichokes even more. Give a stir so they look pretty at the table, or turn out into a pretty bowl.
Serve with lemon wedges to squish over the artichokes on your plate.
For more detailed directions, click on the title of the recipe and go straight on to the blog post.
Have you ever cooked artichokes? Do you prefer fresh, canned, frozen, or from a jar? What is the most interesting recipe you have for artichokes? Share it with everyone here! If you would like the recipe to be considered for CC Palate, send it to me via pm. This article may be reprinted (including bio) with prior permission from the author.
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