December 19, 2012

Artichoke Piccata Love

Recently Todd and I went to a Spanish restaurant in town. Hurrah! A date! When we got there we were a little concerned because it was prime dining hour (7:00), but the restaurant was empty. Regardless, we decided to stay, and try it out for ourselves. We were going to have a date, dammit!

We ordered the 'Artichoke Picatta' appetizer and it was incredible! We practically licked our plates clean.
Everything else we ate was equally as delicious, and because we had the place to ourselves we had the undivided attention of the waitstaff. Also, because it is 'byob' we got to enjoy our favorite wine without having to pay the typical restaurant mark-up. 
We were even joined by a visiting professor, who sat next to us, ordered the fried sardines, and drank his '40' from a paper bag. The next time I go, I am going to take his lead because they looked perfectly salty and crisp...however I think I'll stick to our wine (but maybe drink it out of a paper bag to create the allure of being a bad ass).

This is my version of the artichoke appetizer we enjoyed.
You can serve it as a salad or an appetizer, and is a great vegetarian option for a dinner party.
It is as fast and easy as it is delicious.

1 Jar of Marinated Artichoke Hearts
2 cups bread crumbs or panko seasoned with s/p
oil for pan searing

1 bag of baby spinach, rinsed and spun

3 tblsp. non-parielles capers
1/2 stick of butter
splash of white wine
juice from one lemon
extra lemon wedges for serving

1. Do not rinse the artichoke hearts;
Keep them in their oil marinade and dredge them in the breadcrumbs.
2. In a hot pan, sear the artichokes until the breading on each side is golden brown.
3. Simultaneously pan sear the capers and then add butter, white wine, and lemon juice to make a sauce. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
4. You can steam the spinach if you wish, or serve it fresh and uncooked.
5. Assemble by placing the spinach on a platter; top with the artichokes and drizzle with the lemon/white wine/butter/caper sauce.
6. Snack and smile!

*Alternative: Eliminate the frying and bake the artichokes!


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