Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crispy Artichoke Hearts with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Crispy and delicious!

I've been all about roasting vegetables lately.  Over the years I've boiled, sauteed and lately came upon roasting them.  Not only is it no-muss, no-fuss, it's delicious. 

Secret weapon

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I only buy fresh ingredients - to the point that I shop each day for that evening's food.  And in NYC there are farmers' markets galore and plenty of outlets for fresh vegetables.  But I only buy frozen artichokes.  Call me lazy, but I don't want to wrestle with a fresh artichoke.  I buy Birds Eye frozen artichokes.  They are a bit on the pricey side, coming in at around $4.50 for a package.  But in my opinion, it's worth paying a little bit more to avoid the chore of preparing the artichokes yourself.




First, I leave the package of frozen artichokes on the kitchen counter for the afternoon to defrost.  When I get home from work I take them from the package and wrap them in paper towels - they're pretty soggy at this point. Soggy veggies don't char well!

Crispy deliciousness!

At this point, the procedure is the same for roasting all other vegetables.  Place them in an oven-proof, non-stick pan (I use my Le Creuset skillet).  Cover with 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (less is more - you don't want oily veggies).  With the artichokes, I roast them for a shorter period of time - 10 - 12 minutes at 425 degrees.  Flip them half way through and keep your eye on them - they burn in a second.  I added cherry tomatoes and lemon to make the dish attractive - but the tomatoes taste great, too and the lemon flavor seeps into the dish.

Ingredients

1 package frozen artichokes
2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

Defrost frozen artichokes - 4 - 6 hours on kitchen counter
Dry with paper towels
Spread evenly on non-stick, oven-proof pan
Add tomatoes - intersperse among artichokes
Add lemon (not squeezed)
Add oil
Season with salt & pepper
Mix ingredients thoroughly so artichokes and tomatoes get covered with oil and salt & pepper
Roast in pre-heated 425 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes flipping halfway through
Squirt fresh lemon juice over mixture
Serve & enjoy!

Crispy artichokes jazz up any dish -
here served with Red Snapper in mustard sauce

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