Saturday, April 24, 2010

A healthier Parmesan artichoke dip

Saturday while preparing my recreation of Momofuku Ssam bar's spicy rice cakes and pork, I was a little peckish, so made this dish to have something to snack on while assembling all the pieces of the Chang dish.

I saw this box of baby artichokes last week and H Mart and just couldn't resist picking them up. I'm always amazed at the amount of waste these little things can produce once you pull the tough outer leaves and stems.

I'm also not a believer in dunking your hearts in vinegar or lemon juice to keep them from browning. One of my favorite food writers, Mark Bittman has written about this.

They steamed for about 12 -15 minutes, or until fork tender. When I sliced them in half, I found I hadn't quite cut away enough of the prickly parts, so quartered the hearts and trimmed them at a diagonal to remove the sharp tips.

I tossed the still warm quartered baby hearts with 2 pats of butter (less than a tablespoon), 1 TBS grated Parmesan cheese, some salt, pepper and chopped dill and taragon (you could, of course use any fresh herbs you had in the house).

The butter and the cheese made it seem a little creamy, and the herbs made it taste so fresh. I suppose you also could have thinly sliced some baby spinach to boost its veggie count. I served it on some water crackers, but they were good plain too. Way healthier than restaurant artichoke dip, but filling and delicious!

Parmesan Artichoke Dip
1 box baby artichokes, trimmed of tough outer leaves and prickles (about 2 dozen)
2 small pats of butter (just less than 1 TBS)
1 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper to taste
2 TBS freshly chopped herbs (I used taragon and dill)

Steam baby artichoke pieces for 12-15 mins until fork tender. Quarter and trim any remaining prickles.
Toss with melted butter, cheese and herbs.
Serve with crackers or toasts.

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