Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday - Artichoke Madness

Trader Joe's is literally Artichoke Mecca now! So, here's a lovely Spring Dinner Party for Ye Who Loveth the Veggie that Choketh.

  • Hors d'Oeuvre -- Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip -- Serve with toasts or crackers or even a hollowed out round sourdough loaf!
  • First Course -- Baby Artichokes --- Rinse them. Cut them in half. Marinate them as long as you can -- even if just for 20 minutes -- in either a vinaigrette or even just olive oil with garlic salt. Then throw them on the grill until they are cooked through and charred a little on the edges. If you haven't put too much salt on them before cooking add a little course salt before you serve.
  • NON-GRILLING ALTERNATIVE or an additional dish to serve -- Steam up some large artichokes.. but check this out. I just came up with this. I took olive oil, added some garlic salt to it, whisked it together. Then I drizzled it over and into the artichoke....you don't have to put a lot on it because when you steam, it steeps into the entire artichoke. People use a lot less butter when they eat it too, because it has that rich olive oil flavor to it.
  • Main Course -- Artichoke Ravioli! Now, TJ's has many amazing sauces that will work with this pasta. They even have an Artichoke Antipasto which you can toss in with pasta with a little cheese...but what I like to do with this pasta is sautee up some chopped garlic in olive oil, add sliced mushrooms and cook until they are browned. Then I add a couple handfulls of fresh spinach, and a can of drained artichokes (not marinated) juice of 1/2 a lemon and sautee a little more, and toss with the drained cooked ravioli (which only takes a couple minutes to cook actually...so watch that you don't overcook!).

Isn't Spring grand? Yummy grand.

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