Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Roasted Artichoke Quarters and Banana Peppers

Where I grew up, artichokes were not a common vegetable - in fact, my Mom still hasn't tasted one. Oh, I'd heard about them. People that went to fancy restaurants ate them. So, it wasn't until I got to be a fancy person that I was able to taste an artichoke heart. In my unfancy way, I put it on a pizza. It was good. But, eating them in only one way did get tiring.

So, one day I went out to a fancy restaurant with some friends and we shared the roasted artichoke appetizer. You know, the kind where you scrape your teeth on leaves. I had never done that. It was dratted good! Ok, that's two ways to have artichokes that are good so I guess I'd best get to experimenting with them.
with a thin pork chop and organic mac n cheese!

Roasted Artichoke Quarters and Banana Peppers

The things to mindfully assemble and have at the ready so you don't forget anything:

1 baking pan - either pyrex or non-stick or a foil lined metal pan. How big a pan depends on how many bags of artichoke hearts you will use. You want it to fit in one layer for optimal browning. I only needed a 7 x 11 inch pan for a one pound bag of hearts. They were kind of squished together but it worked.

1 pound bag of frozen quartered artichoke quarters - thaw these in the most convenient way for you.

I am not a fan of the canned hearts unless they are organic and it proudly states it is a BPA free can. Glass jars are ok; most cans are not. If you use canned (blech) or hearts from a jar, rinse them and pat dry - why? To reduce the sodium and remove as much of the chemicals as possible that are used in the production of mass produced food. Frozen artichoke hearts are one of the best of all frozen foods - just like fresh.

2 beautiful picked fresh from your garden perfectly orange banana peppers, rinsed, seeded, and cut into chunks a little smaller than the hearts.
2 T olive oil
6 chopped garlic cloves or a couple good well rounded teaspoons of dried garlic (more garlic is never a bad thing so don't skimp)
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup Panko
1 fresh lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 375 F

What to do with all these lovely things once you have prepared them and have everything sitting in a nicely regimented line either on plates or little bowls:

In a medium sized bowl, gently combine the hearts, pepper chunks, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, and Panko.

Pour the mixture into your baking dish and pop it into the oven. Ignore for at least 45 minutes. Call your Mom, check your email, do something productive.

Then go check to see how they are doing. Unless your oven runs hot, they will not be brown enough yet, so increase the heat to 425 F for an additional 15 minutes. The bottoms of the hearts will be so beautifully brown when they are done!

Serve at the table with lemon wedges for folks to squish on top of the roasted hearts if they like. Excellent side dish for just about anything. You could, I suppose, drizzle with a pinch of melted butter. But that really is not necessary.

Enjoy mindfully.


  1. do you eat the whole thing or scrape the meat from the leaves?

  2. Artichoke quarters are meant to be consumed in their entirety!