Appetizer - Roasted Artichoke Puree for Bruschetta

This is a master recipe featuring the many uses for the artichoke. In addition to bruschetta, the puree can also be used in risotto and in finished pan sauces for fish and shrimp. Also, you could saute a halibut or salmon fillet on one side, turn it over, top it with the roasted artichoke puree and some breadcrumbs, then finish baking the fish in the oven. Instead of the puree, you can chop the roasted artichokes and toss them with spaghetti, penne or other dried pasta. (Michael Chiarello)

Appetizer - Roasted Artichoke Puree for Bruschetta
Appetizer - Roasted Artichoke Puree for Bruschetta

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3-cup lemon juice

  • 6

    medium artichokes

  • 2/3-cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3

    cloves garlic, quartered lengthwise

  • 1

    tsp. minced fresh thyme

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 1

    tsp. sea salt, preferably Graysalt

  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Select a non-reactive bowl large enough to hold all the artichokes once they are trimmed and pour the 1/3-cup lemon juice into it. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, bend the tough outer leaves backward until they break at the point where the tough leaf becomes part of the tender base; stop when you reach the more tender interior leaves that are at least half yellow-green. With a serrated knife, cut across the leaves at the point where the color changes from yellow-green to dark green. Trim the stem of its outer layer, then trim the base, removing any dark green bits. Quarter the artichokes lengthwise and scoop out the hairy choke. As the artichokes are trimmed, drop them into the bowl holding the lemon juice and turn to coat. Toss occasionally to keep them coated with lemon. When all the artichokes are trimmed, transfer them and the lemon juice to a large skillet along with the olive oil, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, tossing to coat the artichokes with the seasonings, then transfer to the oven and cook until the artichokes are browned in spots and tender when pierced, about 25 minutes. Let cool, remove the bay leaf then puree all of the ingredients in a food processor. This mixture will hold refrigerated up to three or four days. For Bruschetta: Have the puree at room temperature. Toast thick slices of Italian bread on both sides until crispy on a grill or oiled grill pan. Spread an even layer of the puree on each slice. Transfer to a serving platter and finish with a grating of aged parmesan cheese, a drizzle of quality extra-virgin olive oil and a few turns of fresh cracked black pepper. Serve while the bread is still warm.

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