Ideally, it is better if you can boil or steam fresh artichokes and scrape out the hearts, though this can be time-consuming. An alternative is to buy artichoke hearts that are marinated and ready to be used. The marinated kind has a rich flavor which makes them great for dips, pasta dishes, pizza, casseroles, salads, or appetizers.

Artichoke Pesto [Vegan]

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Serves

makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups artichoke hearts, strained and rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 garlic buds
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh curly parsley leaves, packed tight
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves (about 8 big leaves), packed tight
  • A pinch of salt, to taste

Preparation

  1. Strain and rinse out the artichokes under cold running water and reserve 1/2 cup of artichokes. Set these aside.
  2. Add all ingredients (except the 1/2 cup reserved artichokes) to your food processor bowl and process until smooth. This should take less than a minute, depending on your blade. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a little.
  3. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of artichokes and process for about 10 seconds or just enough so that you have some small chunks of artichokes mixed throughout.
  4. Transfer into 2 separate glass jars, seal, and refrigerate. Keeps well in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. You can also freeze directly in the glass jar for up to 8-9 months as long as you leave 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) free space below the top of the container and you let it thaw in the fridge before using it.
  5. Add approximately 1 tablespoon (or more according to taste) of pesto for each serving of cooked pasta of choice. Mix well into the pasta. Can also use as a spread on crackers.

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