Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Artichoke Bottom Antipasti

I don't really know what to call this. It's not my creation. I have to give props to Dee. I can cook, but I need a plan. A while back Dee hosted a weeknight dinner in her home (only hours after new kitchen appliances were installed - brave!) for a dozen hockey wives and we were treated to quite a feast. Everything was awesome. I left there learning that white bean bruschetta is amazing, and it has since been added to my party appetizer rotation. I also learned that preparing a simple 'salad' served in artichoke bottoms makes it worthy of a food blog entry.

Though the ladies' night was last year, I have to confess that I hadn't gotten around to making these until recently because I was a bit taken aback by the price of the bottoms at my favorite grocery store. But, Spencer's Sunday school took a field trip to a grocery store I usually avoid, for excessively high prices, where I discovered a reasonably-priced (Safeway) store brand of marinated artichoke bottoms. I grabbed two jars - labeled artichoke crowns - and was already anticipating the treat to accompany our meal that evening.
Since so many months had passed, I pulled the 'salad' components from memory. It can definitely be tinkered with depending on personal preference. The trick for presentation and mouth appeal is to cut everything in a very fine dice, about 1/8" cubes. This isn't really finger food (though our 2 1/2 year old has other opinions as she cups it with both hands) so I'd recommend serving as antipasti for a sit down meal, not for stand up appetizer.

Artichoke Bottom Antipasti
Inspired by Dee Paradine

1 12 oz jar marinated artichoke bottoms (approx. 8)
1/4 C finely diced celery hearts
1/4 C finely diced English (seedless) cucumber
1/4 C finely diced roasted red pepper
1/4 C finely diced tomato
A few tablespoons Italian salad dressing, or oil & vinegar
Salt & pepper

Dice all veggies and toss together in a bowl with salad dressing, or oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you are making this in advance, put salad in a small container in the fridge until ready. To serve, arrange artichoke bottoms on a serving plate and fill with salad.

1 comment:

  1. Simple and refreshing - will be trying this immediately!