Valentine’s Day is upon us, and although not as exciting as it once was, I still make a point of preparing a special surprise treat for those I love best, my family. In the past the menu would usually include shellfish, an array of finger foods, and lots and lots of chocolate. This year I am doing something new – vegan and gluten free meal that is healthy and indulgent. Plus, I wanted to have fun and play around a symbol of Valentine’s Day, the heart!
So, I came up with the Roasted Artichoke Hearts with Cashew Crumble as a perfect recipe that has a lot of heart in it. But, there was a major problem with this idea: I don’t know how to cook artichoke. I remember trying to deal with artichokes and realizing that I don’t have the patience required to go from the luscious green bulb to the tasty heart that’s hidden inside it. All I can say it: thank goodness for the can!
Using canned artichokes works really well in many recipes, and not wanting to make this dish into a major project I decided to give canned artichokes an opportunity to shine in a roasted dish. I figured that if I can make tofu nice and crunchy, I can do that to canned artichoke hearts as well. The key trick here is to make sure artichoke hearts are fully drained and dried before putting them in the oven. To do that, I left my artichoke hearts in a strainer for couple of hours, and then patted them as dry as I could with a paper towel. I also decided to top them with a cashew crumble, and the result was a perfect combination of crunchy, slightly tart, and very inviting dish that perfectly graced our Valentine’s Day menu.
Roasted Artichoke Hearts with Cashew Crumble
What you’ll need:
2 cans (14 oz/400g) artichoke hearts in water
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
cooking oil spray
What you’ll do:
- Preheat oven to 425F(220C).
- Let artichoke hearts drain in a strainer for couple of hours, then pat dry them with a paper or cloth towel.
- Spray an oven proof 8 x 8 in (20 x 20 cm) dish with cooking spray, lightly, add artichoke hearts, and sprinkle with oregano and garlic. Mix well.
- Using a food processor make a cashew crumble. Don’t ground the cashews to a fine meal and make sure that you have a good mix of finely ground and chunky cashew crumble.
- Top the artichoke hearts with cashew crumble and splash with another round of cooking spray.
- Roast for 20-25 min.
You can serve Roasted Artichoke Hearts with Cashew Crumble as an appetizer, or as a main dish. As a part of a main dish I paired them with Zucchini Spaghetti, but they would work well in any salad, and in a sandwich, with pickles and mustard, or with vegan ricotta and tomatoes.
Note: if you are looking for that special something to spice up your Valentine’s dinner I recommend you try this fabulous Chocolate Pudding I found in Whole Foods’ twitter stream. My tip: shave some orange peel on top to add a lovely citrus aroma and a touch of color. Also, don’t worry about making too much because this pudding will disappear in a blink of an eye. If not, it does store well for couple of days and makes a great kids’ (and grown up) snack.
Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017