Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Roasted Artichoke Pesto Bruschetta with Creme Fraiche and Chives

Tissue Paper and Baby Sock Flowers for the Shower

Well, it was a fun-filled weekend with the warm weather and busy-ness of our trip to CT! We celebrated birthdays, had a baby shower for my lovely sis-in-law, celebrated Easter, and visited with an old friend. It was a blast and the shower was a success! We offered a homemade, seasonal hors d'oeuvres for guests to munch on arrival and it turned out great!

Featuring my favorite spring vegetable, the artichoke, I made it in advance and had no problem setting it up quickly. This would be a great snack, soup accompaniment, hors d'oeuvre, or potluck addition, so try it out and don't eat it all before the guests arrive!

Roasted Artichoke Pesto Bruschetta with Creme Fraiche and Chives

6 large artichokes (you can use frozen or canned, but I love them fresh!)
2 juicy lemons
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp finely minced garlic (for roasting), plus 1 large clove garlic (for blending into pesto)
extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, chopped into chunks or smallish pieces
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 fresh baguette, sliced into 1/3" thick slices
chives and creme fraiche for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut 1/4 inch from the top of one artichoke, then slice away the tough leaves. Scoop the scary hairy stuff from the center and squeeze with lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Transfer them to a baking sheet. Continue with remaining artichokes. Be sure to do each artichoke individually and get lemon juice on it asap--they oxidize and turn a scary brownish color quickly.

When they are all prepped, add freshly ground black pepper, garlic, and a dash of extra-virgin olive oil. Rub together and distribute seasonings with clean hands and roast, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until browned and tender. Let cool for a few minutes while you toast the pine nuts, watching them closely.

Toast pine nuts for 5-10 minutes, until just fragrant and beginning to color.

Place artichokes in a food processor with large clove of garlic, toasted pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano, sea salt, lemon juice, and oregano. Blend until smooth. Mixture will have some texture, but just make sure garlic and artichokes are blended. Chill until 2 hours before serving, if you are making it ahead. Otherwise, serve slightly warm or room temp.


Spread 1-2 Tbsp of pesto onto baguette slices. Dot each piece with 1/4 tsp creme fraiche and a little snip of chives.

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