Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Seasons 52 Artichoke Stuffed Artichoke

Seasons 52, the chain that keeps calorie counts down, recently rolled out its spring menu. I was among a small group of food writers invited to sample it during a tasting dinner at the Jacksonville branch. This artichoke squared dish was by far my favorite. Executive Chef Partner Stephen Hicks and Amy Drafts, Field  Sales Manager, were generous and shared.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 Serves 4

3 quarts water
1 TBS Kosher salt
2  artichokes, medium large
¼ cup yellow onion, peeled, ¼” diced
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup sun-dried tomato, chopped fine
6 ounce jar marinated artichokes,
    drained and chopped (save 1/8 cup of juice)
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
2 TBS Italian breadcrumbs
2 TBS basil pesto
1½ tsp creamy Caesar dressing
½ tsp coarse ground mustard
½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/3 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
Drizzle of balsamic glaze

·       Preheat oven to 350°F.
·       In large pot, add 3 quarts water and 1 tablespoon Kosher salt and bring to boil.
·       Trim ½” off top of artichokes; trim ¼” off stem and trim spikes off the leaves.  Add trimmed artichokes to the boiling water and cover for approximately 20-25 minutes until done.  Remove from heat and place artichokes in refrigerator to cool.
·       In sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive on medium-high heat for 1 minute.  Sauté onion and garlic for 2 minutes.  Add sun-dried tomatoes and marinated artichoke.  Stir to combine and remove from heat.  Add all other ingredients and mix well.  Place mixture on sheet tray and allow to cool.
·       Remove artichokes from refrigerator and split in half.  Scrape out choke and inner leaves with a tablespoon.  Place artichokes cut side up on sheet tray and brush with olive oil.  Fill each piece with ¼ of the artichoke stuffing mixture.  Top each piece with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese and bake in 350°F oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through.  Drizzle balsamic glaze over the artichokes.
·       Serve as a side dish.

Bite Size Appetizer Option:
·      Follow procedure above but do not trim spikes off of artichokes before cooking.  Once artichokes are cooked, remove larger leaves and fill each one with some stuffing mix.  Top with cheese and lay out on a sheet tray for heating in 350°F oven.  Plate on serving platter and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Note:  Leftover artichoke heart may be used for salads or garnish.

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