Thursday, August 11, 2011

Artichoke and Mozzarella Crostini & Homemade Marinated Artichokes

My parents were in the area for a conference but definitely didn't make the trip empty handed.  They gave me a box filled with tomatoes from their garden as well as cucumbers, bell peppers and lots of peaches from family friends.  They also dropped off some leftovers from Wegman's with the pretense that they didn't have anywhere to store it (really, they're just generous and I happily accepted all gifts).

Among the leftovers were 2 individual ciabatta rolls which I promptly turned into an artichoke and mozzarella crostini for dinner that night.  I sliced up the rolls and topped each slice with minced garlic, homemade marinated artichokes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese and some chopped basil.  It's amazing that such simple ingredients could make such a great dish.  Having great, crusty bread is a must to give everything a great crunch.

Homemade marinated artichokes also added delicious flavor to the crostinis.  I never buy store-bought marinated artichokes based on the price alone.  But making marinated artichokes at home with just frozen artichokes is surprisingly easy and fast (I don't even measure anything but there are the estimates below).  We've used these marinated artichoke hearts on pizzas before and I might have to make a dip out of them soon, too.

Homemade Marinated Artichokes
Taken from: Saveur
I often marinate just a few artichokes at a time and just guess the amounts for the ingredients.
  • 1  9-oz. box frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (I omitted)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1. Rinse artichoke hearts under cold water. Combine artichokes, oil, salt, thyme, oregano, and chile flakes in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld, about 10 minutes.
2. Let cool to room temperature and stir in lemon juice. Serve or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 week.

Artichoke and Mozzarella Crostini
Taken from: How Sweet It Is
  • 1-2 whole grain crusty french baguettes
  • 10-12 marinated artichoke hearts (see above for recipe)
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2-1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3-1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh herbs for topping, such as parsley or basil (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut baguettes into slices.
  2. Equally distribute the minced garlic and chopped artichoke hearts on top of each baguette slice. Top each with a sprinkling of both cheeses (I made sure each was lightly covered with cheese but the amount will just depend on how much cheese you like). 
  3. Bake for 8 minutes, then heat the broiler and broil for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Garnish with chopped herbs, if desired.

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