Mediterranian Stuffed Artichokes

Mediterranian Stuffed Artichokes
2 artichokes, cooked*, halved and with the fuzzy “choke” thistle removed.
½ cup prepared sun-dried tomato pesto sauce
¼ cup water
¾ cup plain bread crumbs
11/2 cups smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

-In a small bowl, mix pesto and water together.

-Place halved and hollowed artichokes on a baking sheet, cut side up.

-Spoon pesto into the hollow of the artichoke, then spread additional pesto between leaves throughout. Repeat for each artichoke half.

-Sprinkle bread crumbs over the pesto dividing evenly for each halved artichoke.

-Drizzle each with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

-Top with generous amount of smoked mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, till hot throughout and cheese is melted and bubbly.

* To cook artichokes:

-Trim thorny ends and remove the tough outer leaves.

– Fill a stock pot with halved lemons and salted water.

-Place whole artichokes in water and bring to a boil. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until leaves come off easily, and leaves and stem are perceived as tender when poked with a fork.

-Alternate method: fill crock pot with lemons and salted water as above, and cook in a crock pot for 4-5 hours.

Oven Toasted Avocado Asparagus Melt
1 Bunch asparagus, blanched. (See method below)
1 Large beefsteak tomato
1 Avocado, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups Gruyere cheese, grated
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
Pesto Mayonnaise*
4-6 slices artisan bread
3 tbs. mayonnaise
1 tbs. prepared pesto (green)

-Set oven to broil

-In a small bowl, combine pesto and mayonnaise, and mix well

-Spread mayo on bread slices

-Place avocado and then tomato slices on bread.
-Lay 4-5 asparagus spears over tomatoes.
-Drizzle with balsamic vinegar

-Top with generous amount of grated gruyere cheese

-Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted

-Snap off bottom ends and place in boiling water for 4 minutes; longer if stalk is large. –

-Remove from water and place in strainer. Run cold water over stalks until cooled.

-Pat dry with paper towels.

Makes 4-6 servings

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