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Artichoke-Walnut Spread

Submitted by on Wednesday, 19 May 2010No Comment

artichokesIt is artichoke season, and they are powerhouses of nutrition. Artichoke’s fiber content is one of the highest of all vegetables, boasting a whopping 10.3 grams of dietary fiber for one medium artichoke, and some of the most powerful, polyphenol-type antioxidants are found in artichokes.

Artichoke-Walnut Spread
Adapted from Tassajara Cookbook, by Karla Oliveira (Gibbs Smith, 2007). The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center is a legendary Buddhist monestary set deep in California’s Ventana Wilderness, and it is famous for its healthy gourmet vegetarian cuisine. Guests rave about one particular Tassajara tradion: the bag lunch. Here is one of their guests favorite spreads.

1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup firm silken tofu (or ricotta cheese)
12 artichoke hearts (ideally use fresh baby artichokes; otherwise canned in water, drained)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, asiago, or a mixture of asiago and provolone cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, or other fresh herb
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, or to taste
salt and pepper

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until fine. If using silken tofu, wrap in a towel and press with a heavy weight for 30 minutes before using. Add the rest of ingredients and blend in the food processor or by hand until chunky but a uniform mixture; cover and chill until ready to serve.

Makes 2 cups

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).

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