We had a lovely, very simple New Year’s Eve celebration this year with a few friends and family, and nice light food to make up for the excess of Christmas, and to allow for the afternoon heat… We had a lovely meal of oregano, lemon and garlic marinated chicken skewers with Greek pita bread and tzatziki, this salad, zucchini fritters with feta and mint, and bread with this artichoke parmesan paste.
For me, tinned artichokes are a wonderfully useful ingredient. I use them in pasta, to top pizzas, in salads, and in tarts. I love fresh artichokes, but tinned or bottled ones are so much more readily available, not to mention easy to use, that they really are a pantry staple.
In fact, this whole paste can pretty much be made from pantry staples, which makes it very easy to whizz up if you suddenly have to entertain. On this occasion we served it on breadstick slices as the quickest option, but it’s particularly nice on slices of baguette baked until crisp, and you can also serve as a dip with crudités, crackers etc.
Artichoke parmesan paste
Makes about two cups
- 2 x 400g tins artichoke hearts
- 125g parmesan
- 1 small bunch chives
- up to 125ml olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Drain artichokes, and add to a food processor with roughly grated or chopped parmesan and roughly chopped chives. Process on medium speed until finely chopped, then increase speed and process to a rough paste. Begin adding olive oil while processing until you reach the desired consistency. If you want a spreadable paste as above you will need less oil than if you want to use as a dip.
Season to taste, and serve with croutons, bread etc as discussed above. It will keep at least a week in the fridge, probably more if you cover the surface with olive oil.