Monday, February 20, 2012

Garlic-Parmesan Artichokes

We've had a fairly odd winter this year, as in almost no winter. So, forgive me if I am busting out with the spring recipes before the season officially arrives. It's going to be over 60 tomorrow, in February. So, let's cook something for spring.

This dish is a great Easter dinner side, either an appetizer course, or a starter to follow the Asparagus and Potato Salad with the Lemon-Mint Dressing and Hard-cooked Eggs. I see the main course as maybe a roast leg of lamb, and a light panna cotta, but I'll get to the dessert and main closer to spring!

Garlic-Parmesan Artichokes
2 large artichokes
1/2 lemon
1 cup white wine
4 Tbs. whole wheat bread crumbs
3 Tbs. grated Parmesan
2 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

First, trim the sharp points from the bottom two-thirds of the leaves with kitchen shears. Then, trim the stalks to be flush with bottom of artichoke. Using a chef's knife, cut off the top 1/4 leaves (see photo). Rub the cut edges with lemon.
Place the wine and extra water, if needed, in the bottom of a steamer, stove type or the steamer appliance. Squeeze the lemon into the steaming liquid. Steam the artichokes for 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, tossing the oil with the bread crumbs and cheese until its a nice crumbly mixture. When the artichokes are done steaming, lift them out with tongs onto a cutting board.

Slice each artichoke vertically in half.

Using a paring knife, remove the rough part of choke and the center few purplish leaves (see photo). This leaves the lovely, edible heart easy to get to, and makes a nice cavity for the bread crumbs.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs, a bit in the cavity, but also in between the leaves throughout.

Place on a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Roast for 7-9 minutes until the cheese is melted and bread crumbs are browned. Serve hot.

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