As I was flipping through my recipe box last week, I came across several recipes that were carefully transcribed onto pink and white floral cards. My grade 9 cursive spoke of the concoctions that my home economic classmates and I perpetrated – yes, I do mean perpetrated – on each other. Though it was many years ago, one recipe in particular has been stubbornly burned into my memory. My own personal culinary Hall of Shame. I have a vivid recollection of squeezing ground pork out of a tube, pressing it onto a cutting board, filling it with some sort of cooked apple glop, rolling it up, and baking it. The image still haunts me. Needless to say, I am indebted to my parents for the stipulation they placed on me when I turned 15.
In their ultimate wisdom, knowing that I had a mature (and expensive) palate but little to no culinary skills, my parents insisted that I begin to cook one meal every couple of weeks. There were certain qualifications set in place. For example, pouring cereal into a bowl and adding milk did not a dinner make. After three to four meals of baked potatoes with various toppings, the lowly tater was also eventually banned from the menu. This biweekly exercise inspired me to crack open cookbooks and magazines for easy recipes, which was how this simple artichoke pesto spread came to hold a treasured place in my recipe box. From toasting the hazelnuts to scooping the pesto into the bowl, this appetizer takes no more than 10 minutes to make. Along with the recipe links in Super Bowl Recipes: Chili, Wings & Beyond, it will round out your game day feast nicely. Don’t thank me. Thank my mum and dad.
Lightly toast 2 tablespoons roughly chopped hazelnuts in a dry skillet set over medium heat, 4 to 5 minutes. Let hazelnuts cool to room temperature, then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped.
To the food processor, add 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts,
With the food processor running, slowly add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Process until the olive oil is combined well with the artichoke mixture.
Smitten Kitchen’s Artichoke-Olive Crostini
Farmgirl Fare’s White Bean & Artichoke Dip
A Veggie Venture’s Spinach, Artichoke & Bacon Dip
FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Artichoke & Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Life Ambrosia’s Hot Crab, Spinach & Artichoke Dip
- Artichoke & Hazelnut Pesto Spread
- Adapted from Hawthorn Book Series, Dips and Dippers
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped hazelnuts
- 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Lightly toast hazelnuts in a dry skillet set over medium heat, 4 to 5 minutes. Let hazelnuts cool to room temperature, then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped.
- To the food processor, add artichoke hearts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly add olive oil. Process until the olive oil is combined well with the artichoke mixture.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Serve with crackers, small toasts, or raw vegetables.
Adapted from Hawthorn Series: Dips & Dippers