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Artichoke Pesto

To test the freshness of an artichoke, squeeze it. It should make a squeaking sound if the leaves are firm and tight. Artichokes may be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to five days. Sprinkle a few drops of water in the bag before sealing to keep them moist.

Courses: Dips and Spreads, Starters and appetizers
Serves: 16 people

Recipe Ingredients

4   Artichokes
2 tablespoons 30mlLemon juice
1   Garlic clove - minced
2 tablespoons 30mlGrated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon 5mlOlive oil
1 teaspoon 5mlSalt
  Lemon wedges - for garnish
  Chopped parsley - for garnish

Recipe Instructions

Remove any bruised or damaged leaves from base of each artichoke. Trim stem, then cut off top quarter of each artichoke. Trim sharp end of leaves with scissors. Place artichokes upright in steamer, and steam 45 to 50 minutes until artichokes are tender and leaves easily pull free. Remove leaves from artichokes; reserve.

Scoop choke from bottom of each artichoke. Reserve 1 artichoke bottom for serving pesto. Puree remaining artichoke bottoms with lemon juice until smooth. Add garlic, Parmesan, olive oil and salt, and puree until blended.

Arrange leaves in circular pattern on serving platter. Place reserved artichoke bottom in center of plate. Spoon pesto onto artichoke bottom. Arrange lemon wedges in decorative pattern around artichoke bottom. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Dietary Information:

Each tablespoon: 22 calories; 192 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 4 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.38 gram fiber.

"The Los Angeles Times, 03-22-2000"


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