Baby artichokes are my absolute favorite because they are so tender and you can eat the thing-no teasing trying to scrape the meat off artichoke leaves with your teeth. The baby versions are super tiny too, making them the perfect size for a one bite appetizer. I love how artichokes taste with tomato and basil so I love to serve these topped with my easy and super flavorful roasted tomato bruschetta dip! Not only are these vegetarian but vegan friendly-just leave out the optional parmesan from the bruschetta dip and you won’t lose any of the amazing flavor. These are so festive and so deliciously satisfying in one pretty little veggie bite they are dressed to impress and sure to be the hit of the party!
Serves: 6 as an appetizer (approximately 3 per person)
Active time: 45 minutes
Inactive time: 40 minutes
- 10 baby artichokes
- 1 lemon
- Splash of white wine, optional
- 3 garlic cloves
- Olive oil for drizzling pan and artichoke marinade
- Kosher or Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
For Roasted Tomato Bruschetta:
- 6 roma tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 baguette slices
- Olive for drizzling tomatoes and bread
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, rolled and cut into ribbons
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of small capers or large, chopped
- Kosher or Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- (1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, optional)
Roast the tomatoes:
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil, drizzle with olive oil and set aside. Slice tomatoes lengthwise into thirds and place on baking sheet. Drizzle too of tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with kosher or sea salt and a few grinds black pepper. Add a splash of vinegar to the slices. Bake at 400 for approximately 30 minutes until tomatoes appear to be shrunken and caramelized but not burned. Remove from oven and let cool.
- While tomatoes are roasting place slices of bread on another baking sheet lined with foil and add to oven with the tomatoes during the last seven minutes of cooking to get them toasted and crispy. Remove with tomatoes, rub with one of the raw garlic cloves (skin removed), drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let cool along with the tomatoes while you make the artichokes.
- Add the juice of one lemon to a mixing bowl along with three cloves minced garlic, a good drizzle of olive oil, a splash of water and white wine if using, and add a teaspoon of salt and a few grinds if black pepper. This mixture will serve to flavor the artichokes as well as a bath to soak them in to keep them nice and green once they’re peeled and cut. Working with one artichoke at a time, cut off one third of the top and cut the stem so that only about half an inch remains. Then strip off outer leaves with a small knife all the way around the outer choke until you get to the palest green/yellow leaves on the inside (you will need to take off more leaves than you think so keep going until you get to the lightest colored ones on the inside.) Run the knife along the outside of the stem and base as well on all sides so that they will be tender and chewable when cooked. Cut the artichoke in half length wise and remove a small portion of the middle toward the base to create a little cavity for your filling. This is also a good idea to make sure that any potential beginnings of a fuzzy choke get removed. Technically baby artichokes haven’t developed their choke but I have still ran across some that have a little bit of the choke growth starting on the inside so I remove that tiny little portion to be safe and ensure that there are no issues. Immediately place each half of the artichokes in the lemon liquid mixture to keep the artichoke from oxidizing and turning brown. Repeat with remaining artichokes until all are soaking in the lemon garlic bath.
- Drizzle medium skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Remove artichokes from liquid mixture, reserving the mixture to add to skillet later. Add artichokes flat side down first, sprinkle with salt and sauté 5-7 minutes until browned. Flip, season with a sprinkle more salt, cover with lid and sauté another 5-7 minutes. Remove cover add a splash of the artichoke marinade mixture to deglaze pan and lower temperature slightly if pan seems too hot. Flip artichokes again, cover and cook another five minutes or so until artichokes are tender and can be pierced through easily with a fork, then remove from heat.
- While artichokes are cooking prepare tomato bruschetta filling.
Chop up reserved roasted tomatoes and place in bowl. Add three cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cup fresh basil ribbons, chopped capers, drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Chop reserved toasted baguette slices into small cubes and add to mixture. (Add Parmesan if using.) Mix well to combine, taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Remove artichokes from the skillet and place center sides up on a platter. Spoon a small amount of bruschetta filling into center of the artichokes and place any extra into small bowl in center of the platter.
Enjoy this recipe or have questions? Feel free to leave a comment!
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