Grilled Artichoke Sub

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More sandwich love coming at ya. This vegetarian option is super tasty. The featured ingredient is artichokes that have been charred in a grill pan, so they have a nice caramelization going. I love artichokes and they’re great as the “meat” in this recipe (by Jeff Mauro, btw). They are accompanied by a lemony, garlicky ricotta spread with pine nuts, which add a nice crunch, topped off by lettuce. Pretty simple, but pretty great.

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TW’s Tips

  • The ricotta spread was a little too garlicky for me; I’d cut the garlic in half.
  • When you roast the garlic, it needed a little more time than 20 minutes. I went about 40 so it was nice and tender.
  • Costco has a big jar of artichokes that worked great for this.
  • You can roast the garlic ahead of time — even make the whole ricotta spread ahead of time if you want.

Enjoy!

Grilled Artichoke Sub

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic (I recommend cutting amount in half)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons grated romano
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Three 10-ounce jars oil-packed artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 large French baguette
  • 4 to 6 vibrant leafs of red leaf lettuce
  • 1 cup pine nuts, toasted with salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lop off stem end of the head of garlic. Pour the olive oil over the exposed cloves, sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap loosely in foil. Bake until soft and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Let cool, squeeze out the garlic cloves and set aside. Once cool, using your knife, chop into a paste.

Mix together the roasted garlic, ricotta, basil, romano and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Gently add the artichokes to the grill pan and grill until properly charred, 4 to 5 minutes a side, then set aside.

Meanwhile, lightly toast the baguette, about 5 minutes.

For the sandwich build: Split the toasted baguette in half and schmear each half with the ricotta spread. Then pile on the grilled artichokes. Next, add the toasted pine nuts and finally the red leaf lettuce. Cut to serve your family and friends and enjoy with a side of Tony Bennett perhaps.

 

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Spaghetti Squash with Kale Pesto

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Meatless Monday? Yes! This spaghetti squash recipe from Food Network is a great one. While, let’s be honest, nothing can replace the love I have for lots and lots of pasta, spaghetti squash really does come close to imitating the look and feel of pasta’s starchy goodness. With a fresh, garlicky pesto covering it, you might even be able to fool a couple of people. (Kids? Fool the kids.)

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I was a little skeptical about this kale pesto, but I really like it. And it even makes a little extra you can save and put on salmon (or some real pasta, don’t lie) later in the week. And it’s even great reheated. Boom.

TW’s Tips

  • I had some pine nuts hanging around that I wanted to use up, so I substituted for the hazelnuts. Walnuts or almond would also work here, just make sure to toast them.
  • I skipped the raisins since I didn’t have on hand and didn’t want to bother with it, but I’m definitely curious about what that would add to this.
  • Make sure the squash is really done. It should feel soft when you flip it over on the baking sheet and the flesh should scrape easily into strands.
  • I had to add the liquid to the pesto in the food processor for it to really come together — the try ingredients were too dense.
  • I spent a few minutes staring questionably at the bins of squash in the grocery store when there were clearly butternut squash in the bin labeled spaghetti squash. I finally figured it out and yes, I was right. Spaghetti squash are yellow and usually oval in shape.

Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash with Kale Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups roughly chopped kale leaves (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Halve and seed the spaghetti squash; roast face-down on a baking sheets at 400 degrees F until tender, 25 minutes; let cool slightly. Scrape the squash into strands with a fork. Discard the skin.

Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Pulse the kale, parsley, garlic, raisins and 2 tablespoons of the toasted nuts in a blender or food processor until combined. Add 1/4 cup olive oil; blend until smooth. Add 1/3 cup water, the parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Pulse until the pesto comes together, adding up to 3 more tablespoons water to loosen, if necessary; season with more salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spaghetti squash and cook, stirring, until coated. Add 3/4 cup of the kale pesto. Stir to coat, adding up to 1/2 cup water to loosen; season with salt and pepper. Top the squash with the remaining toasted nuts and more parmesan.

Cook’s Note: Refrigerate the extra pesto up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.