As the ultimate food purist, I never thought it would happen, but it did. I was having wine at a friends house, and she offered me a bite to eat, and of course I’m not going to turn down food – and it was thus that I soon found myself chowing down on instant mashed potatoes – and loving it! She made them with butter and milk, of course, but here’s the kicker- sautéed garlic and jarred quartered artichokes, too. It was totally delicious, and I was intrigued with this artichoke addition. What else could I add marinated artichokes to? How could I make this already awesome recipe even more awesome? Now that I had let down my guard to an instant food, I was about to have a lot more time to experiment – with gravy, with bacon wrapped mashed potatoes, etc etc.
While thinking all these thoughts, I also mulled over possible adaptations of these artichoke mashers. The one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted a stronger artichoke flavor. I messed around a little and found that the key was not only to warm the separated leaves of the artichokes, but to add a teaspoon or two of the oil from the jar, as well as roasting the garlic (mincing and sautéing will suffice if time is tight).
Here are results, in brief but comfortable simplicity:
Mashed potatoes with artichoke hearts and roasted garlic:
For every two cups of mashed potatoes, add 2 cloves roasted garlic (crushed), 2 artichoke hearts, quartered, and leaves separated, 1-2 teaspoons (depending on preference) juice from jarred artichokes, generous pinch of fine sea salt, stir up and serve with or without gravy. If serving it with gravy, I suggest a very mild gravy, as the artichoke flavor tends to be easily over powered. Serve with chicken.
After working on this recipe a bit, it got me on quite an artichoke kick. After all, I had all these jars of artichokes. Something had to be done with them. Here are two of those recipes in brief but comfortable simplicity:
Pasta with creamy artichoke sauce:
· 1lb. cooked pasta (I recommend shells or penne, so that the cavity holds the sauce)
· 5T softened butter
· 5T all purpose flour
· 2 C milk
· 1 C (vegetable or chicken)
· 1 C water
· 9t oil from jar of marinated artichokes
· 3 clove roasted garlic, finely chopped and smashed
· 6-8 artichoke hearts, quartered & leaves separated
1. Make a roux by melting the butter in a small saucepan on medium-high heat, then adding the flour and whisking vigorously.
2. Reduce heat
3. While whisking, add milk, broth, and water slowly and constantly whisking
4. Continue whisking and add artichoke oil.
5. Remove from heat and stir in garlic and artichoke hearts.
6. While warm, pour over pasta and mix thoroughly.
7. Top with chili flakes. (Ricotta or goat cheese would also be a tasty addition.)
Ricotta and Artichoke Topped Crostini
Slice a baguette thick and on a bias, brush on olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toast in the oven at 350 until
browned but still slightly soft in the center.
Top with a small scoop of ricotta and a quarter of an artichoke heart, drained and
sprinkle with a pinch of Fleur de Sel, or if you have it, fume de sel, a coarse French
sea salt, smoked in Chardonney barrels. Drizzle with white truffle oil (optional).