Saturday, October 2, 2010

Joanne's Artichoke Bake

Artichokes were first developed in Sicily and were known to both the Greek and the Romans. Today, the artichokes we purchase are commercially grown in California, known as the "Artichoke Capital of the World". They even crown an Artichoke Queen every year. In fact, .......Marilyn Monroe was crowned Queen in 1947.

Most people have to develop a taste for the artichoke. Our family grew up on them. As toddlers, we were taught the art of eating artichokes, scraping one leaf at a time with our teeth , until we reached the heart which was the biggest treat of all. When we married and had families of our own, we passed the tradition down to our children.

On Sundays, we would all go to my Mom & Dad's house for dinner. It was a time for family. After the pasta course, my mom would put the artichokes on the table. It was the main event of the meal for my children and my nieces. Poppa Sal would tell them, "Eat, it will help you digest." (Poppa Sal was so smart because artichokes are actually beneficial for stomach disorders.) It seems like yesterday, that my niece Joanne and my daughter Denise, would run around my Mom's house laughing and teasing each other. Poppa Sal used to call them the "Two Cats". Joanne, who now has two beautiful daughters of her own, was good enough to share one of her artichoke recipes. Thanks, Joanne!!

I love this recipe because it's easy to prepare, delicious and it doesn't have to simmer for hours.

Artichoke Bake

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 2 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Saute garlic in olive oil for 1 minute. Add the artichoke hearts, parsley, salt , pepper and cook until the artichokes start to brown a little. Add the chicken broth and wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour into a 2 qt baking dish. Mix bread crumbs, cheese and melted butter together and sprinkle on top of the artichokes. Bake at 450 degrees until golden brown.

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