Every summer growing up, we made a trip down to Northern California to visit my grandparents. Along with shopping trips and late-night movies, I always looked forward to the bounty of farm-fresh produce. I was a very picky eater as a kid, but I could get down with some corn on the cob, bing cherries, avocados and artichokes—all of which could be had in abundance at Grandma’s house.
That’s why I was thrilled to find, on a recent stop at my favorite farm stand in Davis, a bag of the cutest miniature artichokes—and for $0.99 no less! I snapped them up and drove them the 13 hours back up to Seattle with me, dreaming up a recipe along the way. I wanted to prepare them in a way that allowed the artichoke flavor to shine, so I decided to sautée the hearts lightly in butter, toss them in a zingy pesto of fresh Italian parsley and quick-preserved lemons inspired by this delicious Food52 recipe and serve them atop a nice piece of crusty sourdough bread with a bit of melted parmesan.
Speaking of preserved lemons, let’s chat a little, shall we? A Moroccan pantry staple, this pickled citrus is typically packed whole in salt and lemon juice and allowed to mellow for at least a month. Then, the flavorful and no-longer-bitter rind is chopped up and used to add zest to a variety of dishes. The classic method is easy enough to recreate at home, but it requires some forethought. Like a month of forethought. That’s where this clever quick-pickle recipe comes in handy. It produces a deliciously sweet and sour lemon relish that perfectly marries with the beautiful artichokes in this recipe.
So put those avocados away and start scrolling to learn how to make your new favorite kind of toast.
• crusty bread
• 4 medium-size artichoke hearts, cleaned and cooked or one 14 oz. can of quartered artichoke hearts
• 2 small lemons, preserved using this recipe
• 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
• sea salt
1. Chop artichoke hearts into small cubes and sautée in butter until lightly browned.
2. Transfer artichoke to a medium mixing bowl and add chopped parsley and 2 Tbsp of preserved lemon. Stir well and season with sea salt to taste.
3. Cut a nice, thick slice of crusty bread and toast with butter in a pan.
2. Top the toast with a thin layer of parmesan cheese and melt.
3. Spoon a generous serving of artichoke mixture onto the toasted bread and sprinkle with another bit of parmesan for good measure.