I was very excited to have my 6 month old try artichoke hearts so I got to work on these babies, washing, trimming and boiling them. Once they were done, I pulled off the hearts (which he loved!) and was left with the rest of the artichoke trying to figure out what to do with them...then I remembered our vineyard stay in Tuscany and knew exactly what to make: Artichoke Pesto!
I had never thought to make pesto out of anything other than Basil until our stay in Tuscany last spring when we were served Arugula Pesto, which was amazing! So I thought why not try it out of the baby artichoke leaves? The outcome was wonderful and I hope you enjoy this little concoction of mine.
This sauce went wonderfully with baked chicken, but would also work great as a pizza sauce or even as a dip with crackers, especially rice crackers!
Makes ~3 Cups
2.5 lbs Baby Artichokes (Regular size artichokes will NOT work with this recipe)
1+ C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 C. Hazelnuts (Chopped)
3 Tbsp Shallots (Diced)
Salt & Pepper
-Bring a large pot with 3 quarts Water to boil.
-Prep Baby Artichokes by removing the first 3 layers of leaves, trim about 1/2 inch off the tops, cut off stems, then slice in half lengthwise. Add to boiling water and boil for about 20 mins or until soft (you can also steam them instead).
-Drain and let cool about 10 mins.
-In a Food Processor, process the Hazelnuts until grainy, then add remaining ingredients and process until desired consistency. You may need to add more Olive Oil to achieve the right thickness.
-OPTIONAL: Divide sauce in 1/2 cup servings and freeze for future use!