Monday, November 16, 2009

A Familiar Table - Rose's Baked Artichoke Hearts

I have trouble being away from my family on the holidays. I'm pretty spoiled as I've only had to do it a few times in my life. The most recent being a Thanksgiving a couple years back in Ashland with Lauren. We decided to create a feast for just the two of us. Everything from a giant turkey to the green beans, cranberry relish and mashed potatoes to Lauren's Grandmother's famous Ambrosia Salad (the recipe for that involved a box of Dream Whip and terrified me immensely, I shouldn't have been frightened, it was delicious!) We were the two obnoxious last minute shoppers in the grocery store that morning, buying the very last turkey. The process of making said feast ended up including a batch of brandied apple cider and a large bottle of red wine. When we finally took our first ever turkey out of the oven after a lot of "how do we do this?", "is it ready yet" and "is the thing popped out? I don't think it's done till the thing's popped out" the turkey had turned out beautifully. When we finally had everything on the table we were exhausted, full from snacking on cheese and tasting everything throughout the day. We were also very, very tipsy.

We took small bites of each dish, packed the rest up for leftovers and promptly feel asleep. So much for that. It was all delicious, but I gained a certain respect for people who do most of the cooking on Thanksgiving. After spending the entire day in the kitchen, for some reason you can really lose your appetite. I suppose brandy and red wine don't help.

Fortunately, I'll be in Portland with my family this Thanksgiving. A last minute change in plans. It's going to be a full house, with eight, count 'em, eight of my nieces and nephews running around. My Sister's my Mother and I will combine efforts and ovens and turn out the very best buttery Oregon Chantrelle Mushrooms, bright and verdant green beans with white wine and garlic, gingery cranberry relish, mocha pecan pies, pumpkin pies and fluffy rolls, and of course, a huge golden turkey, brined for days and stuffed with citrus.

I'm hoping to play some part in the mashed potatoes process. My Sister and I have a battle every year over the potato issue. She likes to spice things up, add some herbs and garlic. While at any other time of year that might be appropriate, I am firmly in the classic mashed potatoes camp at Thanksgiving. Keep your garlic and rosemary out of there! I like them just the way they are.

There's one dish that I'm particularly excited about. These Baked Artichokes. It's a recipe my sister Erika found a couple years ago in a Martha Stewart Magazine that featured their readers favorite family recipes. It is to die for. Normally nothing can replace my love of mashed potatoes. They're the first things I go looking for around midnight after the big meal, and they constitute breakfast for the next several days. But once these artichokes came around, they took an equal piece of my heart, and now make up half of my Thanksgiving Breakfast Bowl.

It really couldn't be simpler. Frozen artichoke hearts (which can be found at Trader Joe's and other stores) bread crumbs, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. And as many simple dishes are, mysteriously delicious. It's just the right combination, and it will be one of the first dishes on your Thanksgiving Table to also, mysteriously, disappear.

Rose's Baked Artichoke Hearts

from Martha Stewart Living
Serves 8

1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh curly leaf parsley
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
2 ounces Pecorino Romano, grated (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, and savory, or Italian seasoning blend
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 packages (9 ounces each) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)
Preheat the oven to 325. Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, cheese, herbs and salt in a bowl and season with pepper.

Brush the insides of two 9 1/2-inch ceramic baking dishes or pie pans (or 1 9 by 13 glass baking dish) with olive oil. Divide the artichoke hearts between the dishes and spread into a single layer.

Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over artichokes, pressing down to push into the cracks. Tap bottom of dishes on the counter to settle the mixture.

Whisk oil, lemon juice, zest and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle the dressing evenly over the breadcrumb topping. Cover dishes with parchment, then foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Increase the heat to 375, uncover and bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm that looks gorgeous! I bet it would be nice with some chopped sun-dried tomatoes in it.