Wednesday, January 9, 2008

artichoke toasts

1 large loaf of fresh french bread, sliced about a half inch thick on the diagonal
2 cans of artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
4 cloves of garlic confit*, chopped (use less if it's fresh garlic)
1 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
2 to 4 tablespoons of good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of good olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

mix the artichokes, garlic, cheese, salt, pepper, and olive oil together in a small bowl, slightly breaking up the leaves of the artichokes. once mixed, asses the consistency and add in the mayonnaise until the mixture clings to itself, but isn't smooth.
evenly spread the mixture on top of the bread slices, and then put under a broiler until the top begins to brown slightly. you want the toast to be crisp, but not burned. you can use a toaster oven if you don't have a good broiler, but either way you must watch the toasts carefully.
serve immediately, enjoy!

*garlic confit was one of the confits mentioned in the january issue of bon appetit, and i knew as soon as i saw it that i would be making some. it's a simple process, and since i didn't even use the magazine to make mine, i feel alright giving you loose directions. however, i would like to encourage you to buy the magazine, as it was their year-end round up and has a slew of their best recipes from 2007. it's an investment, i assure you.
i carefully peeled 2 heads of garlic and placed the cloves in a small saucepan and covered them with good olive oil. i heated them on low for about an hour (the house smelled of garlic the whole time) and then I removed them to the counter to cool. once they cooled, I transfered them to a mason jar (you can use that or some other jar you've naturally cleaned with the intention of reusing it, or even something you've purchased specia) and then stored it in the fridge. i've been told that should last for up to a month, maybe even more...but i know that they won't last that long i'm already looking for an excuse to use them at every turn. as a bonus, the oil serves as garlic infused olive oil if you need it in a pinch. what a perfect "recipe"! :)

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