Artichoke Paste

Preparation info

  • Makes approximately

    ¾ cup

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Savory Way

The Savory Way

By Deborah Madison

Published 1990

  • About

Artichoke hearts make a delicate spread with an unusual, mild, nutty flavor. Although some time is needed to prepare and cook the artichokes, this paste keeps for several weeks and is very useful for impromptu hors d’oeuvres—spread on crackers or grilled or toasted bread or sandwiched between paper-thin slices of a delicate white bread with small sprigs of fresh chervil or chopped parsley. It can also be mixed with cream to make a sauce for pasta or spread over warm crêpes.

Cooking the artichokes with oil and herbs brings out the flavors, but you can also make the paste in a little less time by steaming the artichokes (or using leftover cooked artichokes), isolating the hearts, and puréeing them, adding seasonings at that time. Or you can use frozen artichoke hearts and cook them as suggested below, intensifying the seasonings to compensate for the faint taste of the ascorbic acid. Or drain ajar of marinated artichokes and purée them; these will, however, have a rather sharp, acid taste—emphasize it by adding capers, diced shallots, and perhaps some lemon zest. Each method gives slightly different results.