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A tip about Artichoke hearts or quarters- canned or marinated

You can get these in dinky little jars and 15 ounce cans, or in 12 ounce packages in the freezer for several dollars each. Or find them marinated in half gallon jars at warehouse stores and restaurant food suppliers for about $7 (2002). Get the big jar, use half to make my Ellen's Artichoke Olive Condite Standby and the rest for these treats.

If the marinated artichoke hearts taste too vinegary or salty to you, remove from jar and place in strainer, rinse well with warm water and drain. Remove any pieces that look oversize or woody and discard. Return to jar, replace the marinade with top quality olive oil, adding a small amount of mild vinegar such as rice wine vinegar only if desired, and store in the refrigerator.

Artichoke Recipes

Spinach and Artichoke Casserole

serves 4
preheat oven to 350°

20 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
OR 2 pounds fresh spinach, blanched and chopped
1 pound mushroom, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, with liquid
5 eggs or 1 cup thick white sauce or soy white sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, Monterey jack or queso quesadilla, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
paprika to taste
dash thyme

Defrost and drain spinach, squeezing out excess moisture. Saut´┐Ż mushrooms and onion. Drain artichoke hearts. Slightly beat eggs, if used. Combine all ingredients. Heat covered in a nonstick-sprayed casserole at for 30 - 40 minutes.

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Artichoke Loaf in a Bread Bowl

serves 10
preheat oven to 350°

garlic to taste, crushed
onion
1 cup (4 ounces) Jack, shredded
1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar, shredded
1 cup (4 ounces) Parmesan, grated or shredded
1/2 cup mayonaisse
2 cups artichoke hearts chopped coarsely
sprinkle of thyme
10" round sourdough bread

Mix the filling. Cut a deep circle out of the loaf to hold the filling, be careful not to puncture the shell. Fill with the mixture, replace the crust top. wrap in aluninum foil, bake 1 1/4 hours. Tear the bread pieces left into bite size dipping pieces, and add to the oven to toast for the last 20 minutes of baking.

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Artichoke Olive Condite
an Artichoke Salad

makes about a gallon
I loved the olive condite on New Orleans muffaletta, and came up with this variation when I moved away from the Gulf Coast. When I get to my warehouse store to buy a half gallon of artichoke hearts, I make a gallon- my friends are always looking for a jar of this- and I keep a 2 quart jar of this mix in my refrigerator all the time. I use it as a simple lunch with soup, chopped coarsely to garnish green salads or as a filling for enchiladas. Dice up some feta or white cheese and mix it in to make a fast party appetizer. The salad is also good diced into a bruschetta spread for crackers and sandwiches.

I use a combination of fresh cooked and marinated canned vegetables. Many commercial marinated vegetables have too much vinegar- it's much cheaper than good olive oil. So drain them! The reason for the rinsing and draining is to get rid of extra salt and cheap vinegar. If you are going to store the mixture for a few weeks, use only blanched, cooked or canned vegetables. Raw vegetables are loaded with bacteria that cause fermenting or spoiling.

Base:

artichoke hearts, 1/2 gallon, drained, woody stems or tops removed

Add ins: mix in 1/2 gallon total, drain and rinse in a strainer before adding:
roasted red pepper strips
stemmed and seeded sweet pepperoncini or sweet banana pepper rings
black olives
crushed salad olives with pimento
capers
cauliflower, thin slice and blanch
carrots, matchsticks or thin circles, thin slice and blanch
celery, thin sliced across the stalks, thin slice and blanch
Italian green beans (canned and drained, or frozen lightly cooked)

Dressing, mix together,
olive oil
rice wine vinegar diluted with equal part distilled water

Toss all the vegetables together. Cover with dressing, store covered.