Artichoke Gratinada

 
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Even the most basic dinner menu can be dressed up just a bit by adding a little more elaborate side dish, and, it doesn't have to be a lot more work.  You don't need three fancy and time consuming dishes to make your special meal complete, but if you want to embellish your simple dinner a bit, (remember we eat with our eyes first!) here's a tasty and easy side dish to try.  

I was in search of a recipe from Italy to complete an Italian themed meal and ran across this idea with artichoke hearts, which I love!  The recipe called for frozen artichoke hearts, something I'd never used before.  Really? I was a little hesitant about that because wouldn't they be soggier? But, when the artichoke hearts were set in a colandar to defrost, there was absolutely no condensation on the plate below the colander after they had thawed. Interesting!  I was impressed, obviously I will stick to cooking, not chemistry of the matter. After looking at reviews of artichoke hearts, many people preferred the frozen as they taste more like a fresh artichoke, and, Trader Joe's is a very popular one, which just happen to be what I purchased.  Those will now be a staple item in my freezer!

The pop of flavors provided by stir frying the artichoke hearts with fresh parsley is wonderful! Although this recipe is not completely Whole30 compliant with a sprinkling of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on top, it's still pretty darn healthy.  Perhaps some ground nuts in place of the bread crumbs? Next time!

Here's what you need -

3 Tbl olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbl chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 packages frozen artichoke hearts (14 oz packages from Trader Joe's)
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Madeira or Marsala wine
2 Tbl ghee or butter
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

 

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the artichoke hearts, parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the artichoke hearts are starting to brown at the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the artichoke mixture to a baking dish.

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Melt the ghee in the same skillet used to cook the artichokes. In a small bowl mix the melted ghee with the bread crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan and top the artichokes with the bread crumb mixture. Bake until the top is golden, about 10 minutes.

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Add a simple grilled chicken breast, green salad, and a nice red Italian wine and enjoy another easy healthy meal!  It's Delizioso!