Artichokes can be difficult to incorporate into a meal. If you steam them yourself, you'll have to peel off each layer for what might seem like a pitiful amount of meat. Opting for pre-packaged artichoke hearts solves this issue, but poses another challenge: their unique and subtle flavor means that if you add them to a recipe without adjusting the other ingredients, you might not taste them at all. These pitfalls highlight the fact that artichokes sit in a culinary gray area. Rather than being a typical vegetable, they are flower buds from a thistle plant. They don't taste sweet and fresh like tomatoes and bell peppers, nor are they sugary and earthy like root vegetables. Instead, they possess a nutty taste with faint notes of sweetness and astringency that can easily be drowned out by other ingredients.
With all of these complications, you might be wondering why anyone bothers with this thorned, leathery-leaved ingredient. Despite the challenges they pose, artichokes are a delicious addition to a meal with their distinctive flavor and meaty texture. To let them shine, however, you need a good recipe to provide the right balance of flavors, and we've got all the inspiration and instruction you need to get started. In this collection, you'll discover how versatile these thistle buds can be, whether you're steaming them and peeling off the layers or turning their meaty hearts into a mouthwatering dip, sandwich, or show-stopping hors d'oeuvre.
Spinach Artichoke Flatbread
Flatbread is one of the best ways to showcase an under-appreciated ingredient. The bready base acts as a platter, while cheese, let's face it, makes everything taste better. This recipe goes all in on the latter, calling for Parmesan, mozzarella, Gruyere, and cream cheese in addition to sour cream and mayonnaise.
You might already be salivating, but there's more. Artichoke hearts and spinach make this flatbread health-adjacent as far as we're concerned and add an earthy, vegetal flavor to complement the cheesiness. Plus, it only takes 35 minutes to make.
Recipe: Spinach Artichoke Flatbread
Air fryers aren't just a fad. They're a cooking appliance that is here to stay. If you need proof of this, consider the fact that they can even take the stress out of cooking artichokes. Instead of steaming the leathery buds whole, this recipe calls for cutting them in half lengthwise and crisping them up in the air fryer.
The results are crunchy and more flavorful due to the loss of water content. Best of all, you don't have to peel all the layers before getting to the center. You can skip to that step right at the beginning.
Recipe: Air-Fried Artichoke
Cold Spinach Artichoke Dip
Spinach and artichoke dip is such a classic food that you can find it at many grocery stores next to hummus and tzatziki. Making it from scratch, however, makes it much more delicious than buying it, and is surprisingly easy.
Made with cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, sour cream, spinach, artichoke hearts, and seasonings, this recipe takes five minutes to prepare and zero minutes to cook. You can also make it up to two days in advance. All you need is your choice of cracker or chip and you've got a quick, delicious appetizer to feed a crowd.
Recipe: Cold Spinach Artichoke Dip
Spinach Artichoke Bites
Hosting a dinner party is a juggling act. With multiple recipes to tackle in a short span of time, you need all the shortcuts you can get without compromising the quality of the results. This recipe is mercifully simple to execute but produces to-die-for results -- the ideal scenario for an appetizer.
Made with puff pastry and a creamy, cheesy artichoke filling, it yields 12 decadent, bite-sized hors d'oeuvres. It's the perfect hassle-free recipe when you want to focus your time and effort on dinner, dessert, and drinks and keep your guests satiated.
Recipe: Spinach Artichoke Bites
Spinach And Artichoke Parmesan Sandwich
Spinach and artichoke are paired frequently because they do not overwhelm each other. Both are mild, but where spinach has a fresh, vegetal flavor, artichoke has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Together, they create a nuanced taste that can become the centerpiece of just about any savory dish.
Take sandwiches, for example. In this recipe, the delicious duo makes a meatless substitute for meatballs or chicken alongside pizza sauce, cheese, garlic, basil, and chives. When pressed between a seeded Italian roll and lightly baked, these ingredients become a warm, melty blend of mouthwatering textures and flavors.
Grilled Artichokes And Garlic-Parmesan Aioli
We will defend the merits of artichokes to the very end, but even we can't deny that they need some kind of seasoning. This is especially true when you're working with boiled or steamed artichokes, and the best and most common option is to serve them with a creamy dip.
This recipe involves steaming and grilling the artichokes and serving them with a flavor-packed aioli made of mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan, and mustard. Serve this instead of veggie kebabs and you'll be the star of the barbecue.
Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes
Artichokes are big, which means you have to boil a pretty large pot of water to steam them. Aside from watching paint dry, waiting for a pot of water to come to a boil is possibly the most boring activity we can think of, so it's a good thing an Instant Pot can save you from having to hover over your stove.
All you have to do is put the artichokes in the pot on a wire stand, select the Pressure Cook setting, and spend 20 minutes doing something other than waiting for the water to boil.
Recipe: Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
There are many ingredient options for stuffed mushrooms. You can stuff them with crab, sausage, or just plain cheese, but artichoke hearts are up there as one of the best options of them all. Mushrooms are full of earthy umami flavor that perfectly complements the nuttiness of artichokes. Neither outweighs the other, and spinach and cream cheese add another dimension of mild deliciousness.
This recipe is a great option for a unique, vegetarian side dish. Creamy, meaty, and visually appealing, they will impress your guests even before they take a bite.
Recipe: Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin And Creamy Artichoke Sauce
Cheesy artichoke dip is a winner when paired with crackers and chips, so it's no surprise that it is just as delicious as a sauce poured over a meaty entrée. In this recipe, it's used to spruce up turkey for a creamy, succulent dish that will inspire you to incorporate the festive bird into your meals year-round.
This recipe pairs the notoriously dry meat not only with creamy artichoke sauce but with a spinach, mushroom, and cheese filling. It might sound complicated, but it's an entire meal in one cheesy, veggie-heavy dish.
Muffuletta Olive Salad
Muffuletta is a type of round Italian bread that forms the basis of a classic New Orleans sandwich of the same name. The salad that forms the filling of the sandwich consists of a collection of delicious ingredients that you may need to make a special trip to the store to procure, but you won't regret a minute of the time.
Two types of olives, artichoke hearts, piquillo peppers, capers, and pepperoncini slices are the bulk of the salad, while fresh herbs, red wine vinegar, shallots, and garlic add to the intense flavor.
Recipe: Muffuletta Olive Salad
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Chicken is the go-to protein source for picky eaters and culinary adventurers alike, but if we're being honest, it can be a bit boring. Chicken breasts are especially bland due to their low fat content, so most of us are on the lookout for a flavorful way to prepare them. This recipe transforms the nearly flavorless cutlets into a crispy, cheesy, mouthwatering delight that you'll want to make again and again.
All you have to do is slice the chicken breasts lengthwise and fill them with spinach, cream cheese, artichoke hearts, shredded mozzarella, and minced garlic.
Recipe: Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Greek Sheet Pan Chicken
Sheet pan recipes are all the rage, and it's easy to see why. Like one-pot dinners, they cut down on the cleanup time and save you from having to come up with side dishes for your entrée. This recipe is perfect for those who love Greek food and lean protein. It's healthy, colorful, and delicious, and is mostly hands-off.
You'll need chicken breasts, bell peppers, a red onion, artichoke hearts, lemon wedges, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and herbs and spices. You can serve it with rice for extra substance, but it can easily be a complete meal on it's own.
Recipe: Greek Sheet Pan Chicken
Antipasti refers to an Italian appetizer consisting of cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables arranged artfully on a board. It's an eye-catching and delicious dish, but it can also be time-consuming to create. Antipasto salad streamlines things by tossing all those mouthwatering Mediterranean veggies with pasta to make an equally delicious (if slightly less eye-catching) side dish or light lunch.
This recipe takes a classic approach, combining cheese, banana peppers, red onion, black olives, artichoke hearts, and cherry tomatoes with herbs and a mustard vinaigrette. There is always room for creativity with antipasti, so feel free to let your imagination guide you.
Recipe: Antipasto Salad
15 Minute Greek Farro Salad
Farro is an increasingly popular grain due to its high fiber and protein content, nutty flavor, and chewy texture. Whether you need a break from quinoa or want more protein and nutrients than pasta has to offer, using it as a base in salads will not disappoint.
Stuffed with veggies -- including artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, and red peppers -- this recipe is a nutritional powerhouse that also happens to take only 15 minutes to make. Serve it as a side dish or keep some on hand for lunch and you'll get all the vitamins you need and then some all in one dish.
Recipe: 15 Minute Greek Farro Salad
Read the original article on Mashed.