Have you ever seen artichokes in bloom? They are insanely neon purple, about 6 inches across and really heavy. If you grow them yourself, it’s worth letting a few go into flower just to witness this (see more photos at end of post). But, for those who just have to eat them as buds, here’s my favorite Hot Artichoke Spread recipe from The Braces Cookbook 2: Comfort Food with a Gourmet Touch.
Hot Artichoke Spread
Prepare this puffy baked appetizer and you’ll realize how delicious (and simple) this taste combination can be.
1 cup regular mayonnaise (Full fat version. This is not a diet recipe!)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (from a can or fresh)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cans (13.75 oz.) artichoke hearts (Do not use the marinated variety)
(optional: ½ teaspoon paprika)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, cheese and salt. Drain artichoke hearts and cut them up into half-inch chunks or smaller. Stir artichokes into mayonnaise mixture.
Grease a 2-quart casserole. Spoon artichoke mixture into casserole. Sprinkle with paprika to add a little color. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden. Serve warm with pita bread or slices of a fresh baguette, crusts removed.
Chef Amee’s Gourmet Touch
Add 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, 2 to 3 teaspoons dried ground sage, 1 teaspoon of smoked Spanish Paprika and lots of yummy garlic, about 3 to 4 cloves, finely chopped. This will jazz it up a bit!
— I took a progression of photos of the artichokes growing – enjoy!