Gratin (casserole) of Artichokes and Olives

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  1. ...this is a vegan dish (no meat, no dairy) and if you are an artichoke fan like me you will LOVE this! Well worth the prep time. You can have it as a vegan main course or as a side dish.

    Serves 4
    3 T fresh lemon juice
    12 small (egg sized) artichokes or 6 medium artichokes (about 6 oz each)
    1 C soft plain white bread crumbs
    4 T olive oil
    3 medium onions (6 oz each), thinly sliced
    2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1/4 C nicoise or kalamata black olives, pitted and chopped
    1/4 C finely chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley
    salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (I prefer celtic sea salt)
    1 C low sodium canned vegetable broth

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fill a medium bowl with water and add the lemon juice. Set aside. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut about 1/2" off the top of each small artichoke, or about 1" off the medium ones. Pull off and discard the tough, ark green outer leaves to expose the pale green hearts. Trim the dark stem end of each artichoke. Quarter the small artichoke hearts or cut the medium hearts lengthwise into 8 wedges. With a small spoon or your fingers, scrape out any prickly inner leaves. AS you work, drop the artichokes into the lemon water to prevent browning.

    Spread the bread crumbs in a single later on a light colored baking sheet (a dark surface will overbrown). Toast in the oven until lightly browned, stirring once or twice, 3-5 minutes. Set aside. Reset oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

    In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 2 T of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the toasted bread crumbs and stir well to combine. Remove the skillet from heat and add the olives, parsley, salt and pepper, stirring well to combine. Set aside.

    Brush a shallow 12 x 8" baking dish with half of the remaining oil. Drain the artichokes and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange 1/3 of the onion mixture in the prepared dish. Spread half of the drained artichokes over the onion mixture. Repeat, ending with remaining 1/3 of the onion mixture. Pour the vegetable broth carefully around the edges of the dish. Season the top with salt and pepper and drizzle the remaining 1 T olive oil over the top.

    Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the over temp to about 350 degrees F. Cook until the artichokes are cooked through and tender, about 10 min for small and 15-20 min for the medium. Uncover the dish and bake 10 minutes or until the artichokes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife and the top is browned. Add more veggie broth to the casserole if it looks too dry. Let cool slightly and serve warm.
     
  2. Wow, that sounds really good! Thanks for sharing this recipe..I will for sure make it sometime!
     
  3. ...this is from a cookbook called The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, which I found on Amazon.com:

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    I'm definitely not 100% vegan, but I LOVE Mediterranean food and all its variety. Plus, this is a lot of 'naturally' vegan food with wonderful flavors...very traditional recipes. I LOVE cheese, but can't get into soy cheese or vegan mayonnaise, just not my taste. With these recipes, I honestly don't miss the cheese!
     
  4. Pursegrrl -- thank you! This dish sounds delicious with a nice glass of white wine! I am not a vegan or vegeterian, but do try to focus my diet on non-meat food items. So it's great to see a nice vegetable dish.
     
  5. ^^ absolutely, a nice glass of pinot grigio...cheers! These are great as side dishes too if you are serving a non-vegan or non-vegetarian main course!