This recipe was given to me by my aunt Claire. She married a French man (perhaps her first name predisposed her) and she was ever the dutiful wife, fixing him a meal from scratch every day. This one was amongst his favorites; I was told he used to request it for their dinner parties to serve as an appetizer (they used to entertain once a week). It is very simple, consisting of artichoke bottoms drizzled in a sauce resembling a tapénade. I would not use the (tasteless) artichoke hearts one finds in cans, but real artichokes or at least a good brand of artichoke bottoms (in a jar or frozen). Luckily here in Beirut a friend introduced me to a greengrocer who preps the artichokes and sells them. In the US, I would either do the job myself or buy them already cleaned-up and frozen.
INGREDIENTS: 12 servings
12 artichokes, pared to the bottoms (or artichoke bottoms), boiled and drained and kept warm
6 anchovy fillets (or one heaping tablespoon anchovy paste)
1 tablespoon garlic paste (mashed in a mortar or processor)
1 shallot chopped fine (or small white onion)
several sprigs of parsley, chopped fine (or a mixture of herbs including basil)
1/4 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup breadcrumbs or grated parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Fry the onion or shallot in the olive oil, in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovy and wine and simmer for a few minutes till the wine reduces; add the breadcrumbs and stir a bit until the sauce thickens. Add the olives and parsley and drizzle over the artichokes. Serve immediately.
NOTE: The recipe does not call for breadcrumbs or parmesan. I added it to add body to the sauce.
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