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Author Notes: my version of this tapas style bar appetizer from one of my local food spots. one of my new favorites in the collection. —cucina di mammina
Makes 4 to 6 pieces
- 4-6 fresh OR canned artichoke bottoms, drained and dried
- resh plain goat cheese (1 package to taste)
- 1 packet plain quinoa (cooked until tender in vegetable stock) cooled to room temperature
- 1/2 bunch fresh italian flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
- 1 cup chopped frozen, thawed& drained spinac
- good quality olive oil
- 2 fresh ripe plum tomatoes finely chopped
- homemade vegetable stock (or store bought)
- grated parmigiano cheese (for topping)
- sea salt and black peeper to taste
- (i.e. you can add in other favorite items, like sauteed mushrooms, black olives, etc. all chopped finely and mixed in to the goat cheese base… have fun and enjoy!)
- if using fresh artichoke bottoms: Once your artichoke heart bottoms are prepped and ready, drop them in a bowl of ice water with lemon to keep them from turning color. In a medium sauce pan bring the vegetable stock to a boil, add the artichoke heart bottoms to the stock and cook on medium heat until cooked through (carefully test with a fork for doneness.) Remove from the stock and set aside to cool.
- Using additional vegetable stock, cook your quinoa until tender and done (store leftover quinoa for serving as a side dish for other meals, etc.)
- In a small bowl, add the cooked quinoa and chopped tomato and parsley leaf and chopped spinach and blend well. Add in the small package of goat cheese and begin to blend with your fork until mixed well. Add some cracked black pepper to taste and blend well.
- Take the cooled artichoke bottoms, season lightly with sea salt and black pepper. Using a small spoon, add the got cheese filling to the bottoms and form evenly in a rounded shape. Continue until all the bottoms are filled and set inside a oven baking dish right side up. Sprinkle a healthy amount of grated parmigiano cheese on the top of the filling for each one, this will create a savory crunchy crust.
- Place in a preheated 350-375 degree oven on the middle rack. Bake for about 15 minutes or so depending on how fast your oven cooks, etc. Check them and when you see the tops begin to brown lightly, turn to broil for 2 minutes or so until the tops are golden and crispy.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately or allow to come to room temperature and serve, delicious both ways! Serve along with a crisp white wine and other small plates of your desire. P.S. For extra crunch & flavor, top with a small amount of crumbled oven roasted bacon… wonderful indeed.