March 31, 2010

Bruschetta with Artichokes

Bruschetta with Artichokes

The best way to describe this recipe is...interesting. It took me a while to decide if I liked it or not: I can eat artichoke hearts in moderation, but they're the main ingredient here, so as you can probably imagine I was a little hesitant. At least the recipe is quick and easy. Simply combine the hearts (water-packed, drained, and squeezed), olive tapenade, olive oil, and a little brown sugar in a food processor, whirl away and you're done. Total time for prep and "cooking" was definitely under 10 minutes, if that long.

My first bite was with trepidation; after my second bite, I still wasn't convinced. But by my fourth or fifth bite, I realized there must be something good about this bruschetta...and before I knew it, I was going back for seconds! The flavors here are surprisingly mild, other than the saltiness of the olives and a slight "fishy" taste (the good kind) from the artichokes, and the texture of the mixture is thick, hearty, and a little "wet."

Now I know all of this doesn't sound appetizing at all, but here's where the flavor and texture combine for quite a surprise: this stuff is amazingly similar to tuna! Seriously, I think this could almost be used as a stand-in for a tuna fish sandwich with a few additions: chopped pickles, onions, a hint of mayo to add some creaminess. You could even increase the "meatiness" of the texture by adding some chopped tofu or seitan. Or I'm thinking even egg salad: add some chopped up eggs and a little mustard. The possibilities are endless!

Make again? Yes, trying some of the suggestions above. And I think a little garlic would take this over the top!

UPDATE: So I took my own above advice and added a little mustard, sweet pickle relish, garlic powder, and pepper to one-day old leftovers. OMG...amazing!!! I reminisced on the days I used to eat tuna, it tastes just like the stuff! I love being able to find healthy veg alternatives on accident like this.

Bruschetta with Artichokes
Vegetarian Times, March 2006

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