Today's post seems so inconsequential today, as I struggle finding the words, knowing what Monet and her family must be going through today. Please keep Monet from Anecdotes and Apples and her family in your prayers, especially for Joshua.
Spring is still eluding us here in Chicago Land, so I continue to bake and cook like it is Spring. I was having company over the weekend, Joanna and her husband, and wanted to try this new recipe that I got from Rachael Ray. Of course, I couldn't leave the recipe alone, and had to add lots of lemon, zest and juice. The original recipe called for herb garlic cheese like Boursin. I wanted to lighten up the crostini a bit, so I made my own with light cream cheese, garlic, fresh thyme, and a little lemon zest. and juice. I also put lemon juice in the the chopped Baby Artichokes. These are the Baby Artichokes before cleaning.
These Baby Artichokes are so cute, but there is a certain way to clean and cook them. After rinsing the chokes, snap off the lower petals, until you reach the yellow-green core. Use a knife to cut off one-half in of the top.of the Baby Artichoke. Trim the stems and all remaining dark green areas from the base. Now you can slice, halve, or quarter, depending on what is needed for your recipes. Once the chokes are cut, soak in lemon or vinegar water to keep from browning. Here is a link to everything that you wanted to know about Baby Artichokes, Preparation of Baby Artichokes. Steaming is the preferred way of cooking, either in a steamer or in the microwave.
Now for the recipe
Baby Artichoke Crostini Adapted from Rachel Ray
· 12 baby artichokes, cleaned and cooked, chopped
· 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
· 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs or whatever fresh herbs you like, such as basil, flat leaf parsley, oregano, etc.
· Salt and ground black pepper
· 12 thin slices of French bread
· 1 block herbed soft cheese (5 ounces), such as Boursin brand, I used light cream cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.
In a medium size mixing bowl, toss together the artichokes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, herbs, zest and juice of one lemon, and some salt and pepper. Set aside.
Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.. Pop the bread into the oven and toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Herb Cream Cheese
1- 8 oz block light cream cheese
1-lemon juice and zest.
1-Tbsp fresh herbs, chopped or dried; thyme, flat leaf parsley, or herbs of your choice.
Combine all ingredients in small bowl and mix well. You can make this spread ahead of time for flavors to blend. Spread some soft cheese over each slice of bread, top with a spoonful of the marinated artichokes and serve.