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Slice of Life

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Artichokes add to salads, hummus

So there I was, staring at those two cans of artichokes.

One jar I’d purchased in the hopes of dressing up a salad or two when we had company a few weeks ago. However, the plans had to be canceled. I put these gourmet treats back in the pantry because well, they were kind of expensive and I tend to save stuff like that to fancy up the meals when company comes.

So back to me staring at the cans this morning. I said to myself, “Self, why are you saving these for company. You love them, why not?” After a visit to my recipe file I was off and cooking.

Hopefully, you too will find a can or three of artichoke hearts in your pantry, or on sale at your favorite grocery, and are able to try the following recipes.

Choked Wild Rice Salad

1 1/4 cups wild rice cooked according to the package instructions, cooled

1/4 to 1/3 cup Italian dressing

2 (6 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (save the marinade)

2 tablespoons parsley, minced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 chopped green or red bell pepper

6 to 8 sliced green onions, including tops

10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Place the rice in a bowl and stir the Italian dressing into the rice. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least four hour or overnight, Serves 8 to 10. Note: You can use the left over marinade to marinate sliced mushrooms, sliced onions and cucumbers.

Hearts and Palms Salad

2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1 to 1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, cut in half

2 cans hearts of palm, drained and sliced into rounds

1 red bell pepper, diced small

1 tablespoon oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons basil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup red wine or rice wine vinegar (to taste)

1/4 to 1/3 cup oil (to taste)

Lemon juice, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Bibb or red leaf lettuce

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Don’t worry about how much liquid you use; the mushrooms tend to soak up most of the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. To serve, line a plate or serving platter with red leaf or Bibb lettuce and place the salad on top. Serves 6 to 8.

Hummus with Artichoke and Red Pepper

1 can (15 ounce) garbanzo beans/chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup tahini (sesame sauce)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Red pepper flakes, optional

2 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped

In the bowl of a food processor combine the garbanzo beans, artichoke hearts, red pepper, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, cumin and garlic powder. Process until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and rosemary. Process until smooth and spoon it into the serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for the flavors to meld. Serve with vegetables. Makes two cups. Serve with fresh vegetables, pita pieces, corn chips etc.

Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at ztlog@frontier.net or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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