I bought a 3# jar of artichoke hearts and wonder if I can freeze them in smaller portions.
Also, anybody have some great recipes using them?
Can you be more specific? Are they marinated? Packed in oil? Brine? Do they have the fuzzy part? Do they have a lot of petals? Are they whole hearts, or wedges? How thick are the bottoms?
If there's still a lot of fuzzy choke in them, do use a paring knife to remove it if you're cooking with them. If you're eating them straight, a little fuzz is forgivable, though some people can't bear the texture. Others like it because it traps all the delicious marinade. :) Also, make sure that there aren't any sharp pips on the ends of the petals. Some varieties of artichoke aren't that sharp to begin with and canning makes the pips soft, which is fine, but it can be slightly dangerous to eat them if they're still sharp, and certainly uncomfortable.
I'd worry about the mushy factor with freezing, unless they start very firm. Marinated ones are already mushy. They should keep pretty well for a long time in the fridge in their original jar, if you have room for it. The brined ones won't last as long, but they're easier to use straight from the fridge. If they're packed in oil, it'll solidify, but should melt if you set out the portion you want to use and let it come up in temperature. That's better than trying to scrape it off in solid form. Do drain them before serving.
Artichoke hearts are great on antipasto trays and in salads. If you're fond of them, and like lumpy sandwiches they're good with cheese and herbs between bread slices.
They should be fully cooked, so don't overcook them if you put them in a recipe. You can use them to make artichoke dip. Just make the base first and add the artichoke just long enough to heat. You can also use them in omelettes and pasta dishes on the same basis--make everything else first and just add them in long enough to get hot through, and if they're not already seasoned, to pick up a little flavor of the dish.
If they're not already marinated, you could put the wedges in with some really yummy herbs and seasoning, and eat them right out of the jar as snacks.
I'm supposing that if they're hearts, then there shouldn't be any fuzz or leaves!
I love them in a bean salad, with tuna. I wouldn't freeze them either.
You can also warm them up in some melted butter and seasoning and serve with meat.
This post was edited by islay_corbel on Mon, Jun 16, 14 at 2:58
i often make a white pizza with provolone, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and pancetta. You can use mushrooms too.
I have blendered them into a paste, and use it to make pizza, instead of tomato sauce.
The Best Crab Dip Ever
The Best Crab Dip Ever!!!
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 can of crab meat
8 oz of cream cheese (soft works really well)
1 cup of Parmesan
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
1 finely chopped green onion (optional)
Drain artichoke hearts and smash them with a fork in the bottom of a microwavable/or oven bake casserole dish. Drain crab meat and mash in with artichoke hearts. Add softened cream cheese and cup of Parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese. Add onion (optional). I love this dip because there are different ways you can serve it.
Depending on what they're packed in will make a big difference in the application. If they're in vinegar or some other acidic medium, that acidity can overpower some dishes. If they are, rinsing them in a couple of changes of cold water before using them will diminish their acidity.
If they're being used in a salad, you need not do that; just cut down on the acid in the dressing you're making.
Artichokes have a property of making your taste buds more sensitive to sweetness. I can eat a bunch of them straight from the jar as a snack.
Artichoke hearts are sold here in many different ways, in both jars and cans. They can be whole small artichokes with the outer petals off, the same cut into wedges, with the inner petals and choke still on, in wedges with the inner petals on but most of the choke removed, and in halves, mostly with the choke and more of the petals. Perhaps some other versions, as well.
"Artichoke bottoms" are also sold, which is the whole bottom of a small artichoke with the choke and petals completely removed.
We sometimes also see pieces, which can be cut or broken bottoms, or wedges with the choke and most of the petal removed (i.e., with petal stumps). I think it's whatever is good quality for eating but not pretty enough for the regular batch.
All have the stems removed.
My very favorite marinated artichoke hearts were Cara Mia, but I haven't had them in many years and don't know if they're still that good. When I was young and didn't care about the oil, they were a favorite snack.
Read the label to know what it's packed in. The ingredients list is far more informative than the front description.
These are just the hearts and they are in salt water. Maybe I could pickle what is left after I make a salad since freezing doesn't seem to be an option.
I like them in salads. I also put some in my roasted veggie and orzo salad. They just add a little meatiness to whatever you put them in.
Chop them up with some shredded piquillo peppers; dynamite in a frittata. Especially with using a smoked cheese like gouda! Good hot or cold, too.
Artichoke hearts are great in marinara sauce, and you can use that sauce to make lasagna, eggplant Parmigiana, or any pasta you prefer.
I also agree that they are good with crab, and I often add them to Crab Louis.
The jared liquid can be a bit ick...no mater the brand. Oil or water.
The hearts are tender. The quartered ones can have some tough leaves.
DH loves them. We always have them in the pantry and a recent brand is the quartered ones in a 32oz jar. Once opened we go through them quickly. Snack, pizza topping, charcuterie plate, breakfast egg tarts, chicken salads, etc...used for a couple weeks then take a break from them...then open another jar a month or so later.
Our recent brand is in water with a 1/2 inch oil slick on top. And some gray dead herb blend that does not really add much so i rinse in water, then some vinegar/water again to get the bland stuff/ick oil off.
-as a pre-teen DH would spend his weeding/mowing chore money on little jars of artichoke hearts instead of the usual candy bars. He has always been more savory than sweet... : )
So, this thread post inspired his birthday dinner last week...(thanks for that!)
When we lived in the city, our corner Italian market had artichoke pies on the weekends and smoked their mozzarella right out on the sidewalk...
On Sundays DH would walk the pup and pick up the sunday NYTimes and get some easy Italian treats...bread, artichoke pie, mozz...
Never thought to try and duplicate but i did better....
A basic quiche idea with a potato base, finely chopped artichoke hearts, then onion, gruyere, spinach, chives and more artichoke hearts and a panko/parmesan/garlic crust. 3 eggs whipped with a bit of greek yogurt. He sobbed for a second, so touched, lol. He would have appreciated a sweet pie, but liked this so much better.
(i hid it in the oven behind a light meal of salmon over sprouted grain...)...he always looks to see what is for dinner from the scent in the home coming up the stairs...
I do like the frozen baby chokes as they have a fresher flavor but can get pricey...
On freezing? I have frozen pizzas that use them as a topping as well as olives...
One would think it would be similar to freezing jared pickles and weird, but i did not see an problem with it...
maybe just fine...
I buy them frozen and I like them lightly breaded and fried and serve with a dip that is one part ranch, one part ketchup and one part prepared horseradish.