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. You may also used the canned artichoke hearts or the marinated ones in a jar, if you don't have fresh ones.
Spinach Artichoke Crostini
· 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 herb soft cheese (5 ounces), such as Boursin brand, I used light cream cheese
· 1 cup spinach washed and torn in small pieces I used Baby spinach
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 EVOO. 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 softened
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 toasted bread. Lay torn pieces of spinach over top of cheese, sort of like a jigsaw puzzle. Top with a spoonful of the marinated artichokes, a small dollop of cheese, and garnish with lemon zest and serve.