Veggie Tales #1 – Artichokes 

Earlier in the week I decided to start experimenting with vegetables a little more. I’ve always been really bad about fitting veggies in and it’s mostly because I don’t have a lot of knowledge of different vegetables. To resolve this I added a new challenge: To try one new vegetable a week. Going into this week, I decided to adjust that slightly. I’m still going to experiment once a week but I’m going to shoot to try one way of cooking each vegetable on it’s own and also in a recipe.

For my first week, I decided to try artichokes in a recipe I found and modified. I will say, from the get-go, that I think this recipe could be improved still – at least for my taste – but I think it’s a good base. I also really enjoyed playing with it so I wanted to share that with everyone.

Working the Recipe

The recipe I started with was this Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella recipe from the Food Network. It’s intended to be an Italian salad and it looked delicious right away! Looking at this recipe, I knew immediately that I wanted to make a few modifications. First of all, I wanted to add some protein. I’m also not a huge fan of olives so I decided to remove those and add some chicken. Beyond that, I really enjoy playing with spices so I followed the recipe but added additional spices for more flavor.


To start off, I cut some chicken into 1-inch cubes and grilled it up with some thyme, sage, basil, and garlic. As that cooked, I sliced the ends off the frozen artichokes that I had already thawed. I also cut 4 pieces of bread into 1-inch cubes and tossed them in a large pan with the artichokes. I will note here that really thick French or Italian bread would have made this even better! I, however, had regular old sandwich bread and that was still pretty yummy!

The artichokes and bread were drizzled with olive oil and grilled until they were just slightly brown. I also added garlic as this was grilling. While this was cooking, I finished the chicken, drained it, and moved on to the tomatoes. I cut these into small chunks and tossed them with basil. About this time, the bread and artichokes were done. I mixed everything together in a large bowl and moved on to the “dressing” the recipe calls for. It’s a blend of olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.

In a very short amount of time, I was done and ready to eat!


The Result

This recipe was interesting because I knew going into it that it was going to be a challenge to sway my husband into eating it. He’s not a fan of artichokes or tomatoes so I was already starting off in the negative. Unfortunately, I did not accomplish this mission – there was just too much in it that he wasn’t a fan of. However, I enjoyed the recipe myself. My only thought, if I were to make it again, is that I would definitely add more garlic. I think that would have pushed it just enough to make it great!

Interested in trying it yourself? Here’s the official breakdown of how I did it. Just note that I am not much of a measurer when it comes to seasoning so those amounts are estimated.

  • 8-oz chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup 1-inch cubed whole wheat bread
  • 8-oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and with the ends cut off
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, with extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into small chunks
  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar

Directions:

Toss the cubed chicken with the basil, thyme, sage, and garlic, reserving a 1/2 tsp of the garlic and basil for later. Grill the chicken until cooked through. Drain and set aside.

Placed the artichokes and bread into a large pan. Drizzle with olive oil and grill until slightly browned. Sprinkle with the leftover garlic while grilling.

Toss the tomato wedges with remaining basil. Combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to create the “dressing.”

Combine all ingredients, besides the dressing, in a large bowl. Dish out the desired amount and drizzle with the dressing previously combined. Enjoy!

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