Artichoke Paté

 

A trip to the farmer’s market in L.A. was planned with the hope that I would find different varieties of artichokes but circumstance wouldn’t allow me to get there before they closed so my sister came to the rescue.

Normally she doesn’t shop for fresh artichokes so I gave her instructions [from what I’ve learned] on how to choose a fresh young artichoke. A girl on a mission, she visited two farmer’s markets and even stopped by Whole Foods and when the search was over she ended up with a bag of standard green globe artichokes – two large, four medium, and eight babies [baby artichokes that is].

She warned me that some of the artichokes were prickly. Some do have thorns on the tip of their petals and others don’t. There was one particularly devious artichoke that got me a couple times. If you take a close look at the above photo, on either artichoke, you will see on the tip of the petals a brown thorn. That is what you should beware of so handle with care when an artichoke sports thorns.

Artichokes are not impossible to work with but, work is required to get at the prized heart, which is what I was after to make this recipe. My sense of adventure didn’t waver after trimming, peeling, and sometimes tugging the petal of ten artichokes. Let’s just say I needed the practice at getting to the heart of the matter.

I sampled a couple pieces of the fresh raw artichoke hearts. It has a mild taste with a faint nutty flavor [at least this is what my taste buds told me]. I had a few recipe options but preferred the simplest of them since all the work went into excavating all those artichoke hearts.

Artichoke Paté

Embellish on this paté by adding any one or a combination of these ingredients: capers, chopped celery, cucumbers or bell peppers, shredded carrots, or add a little heat with a sprinkle of cayenne or some jalapeno or other hot peppers.

8-10 small artichokes
1 cup green olives, pitted
1/4 cup pine nuts, unroasted
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a food process. Process and the scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to process. Repeat until the mixture is at the desired consistency for the paté. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

This recipe is best served fresh but can keep up to three days in the refrigerator. Bring this paté to room temperature when ready to serve.

 

Serving Suggestions

  • Spread on dehydrated crackers.
  • Spread on leafy greens with your choice of toppings and fold to make a sandwich. I made a one using romaine hearts, spread the paté on the leaf and topped with sliced cherry tomatoes ~ fresh and delicious.
  • Stuff into fresh mushroom caps, cherry tomatoes, or celery stalks.
  • Try it as a dip with assorted veggies like carrots and cucumbers.
  • Scoop on a bed of mixed salad greens for the first course of a meal.

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