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Italian Artichoke Hearts with Tomatoes and Sherry

Artichoke hearts come from the young flower buds of the globe artichoke, which belongs to the thistle family. Globe artichokes were cultivated in some Mediterranean countries several thousand years ago. The hearts are covered by tiny spiny filaments and surrounded by tough outer leaves, so it is much easier to buy them ready prepared. Many people still insist that they have medicinal properties, claiming they give ailing livers a boost.
The flavour of Italy is evident in this impressive-looking dish that is surprisingly easy to make. The dish can be served alone, or used as a pasta sauce if the artichokes are cut into smaller pieces. It also goes particularly well with grilled meat.
Preparation time : 10 minutes,
Cooking time : 15 minutes,
Calories per serving: 80

ingredients

serves 4
14 oz (400 g) tin artichoke hearts
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion
1/2 oz (15 g) butter
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry
8 oz (225 g) tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon shredded fresh basil for garnish

method

1. Drain the artichokes, rinse them under cold running water and drain. Peel and crush the garlic and chop the onion. Gently melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 2 - 3 minutes until soft.

2. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute.

3. Halve the artichokes, add them to the pan with the sherry and saute for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sugar, thyme and seasoning.

4. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve garnished with the basil.

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