The power of suggestion can be strong sometimes, especially when you want it to be. We really do have the power to will a situation into being. It is like Paulo Coelho says in The Alchemist: The universe is kind to those who follow their hearts. That story is a reminder that what we envision for our lives can come true, even our wildest dreams. Or even on a smaller scale...
It was toward the end of the workday one day last week. It was the time of day to start thinking of the dinner menu. I wasn't in the mood for the fallback roasted vegetable topped with an over medium egg. I wanted something different.
Inspiration was inevitable because I work for a food website. But I wanted something fresh that would help me branch out a little. And low and behold, after only a few minutes of scanning, I came across a dish with artichoke hearts, peas, and tomatoes. It was quite visually appealing and got the culinary juices flowing. Sometimes a nudge is all we need. And I am not speaking of the 'nudging' that goes on in Words with Friends, although I have been guilty of nudging a friend or three to take their turn dangit.
I knew my freezer held artichoke hearts, bread crumbs, and chicken sausage. I always have a partially cut-up onion. Kale, peas, and parsley were the only components to buy and would 'green-up' the dish. My coworker and friend A and I are always discussing how we forget how good sauteed bread crumbs are sprinkled over pasta or vegetables. The Brutus salad at Steelhead Diner has the best gremolata made with pine nuts sauteed with crushed croutons. So I decided to make a variation of that with garlic, bread crumbs, olive oil, fresh parsley, and lemon zest for the topping.
Whether we are looking for dinner inspiration, a new apartment, or a new perspective on life, sometimes all we have to do is type it into the search bar.
Artichoke Hearts and Peas with Parsley Bread Crumbs
Makes 2 servings
This does seem like a gigantic list of ingredients and steps, but it is ready pretty quickly. You can always make the bread crumb mixture ahead of time. It keeps well in the refrigerator. The sausage can also be cooked ahead as well. The result is definitely worth it for a nice light weeknight dinner or in a small portion as the first course for a dinner party.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
salt and black pepper
2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken sausages, sliced
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over low heat; saute onion, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and slightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir artichoke hearts, basil, and thyme into onions. Saute, stirring often, until artichoke hearts are completely cooked and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat; saute sliced chicken sausage until browned, about 10 minutes. Add sausage to artichoke hearts. Pour half the lemon zest, all the lemon juice, and the peas into artichoke mixture and immediately cover; simmer on low.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a third skillet over medium-low heat; saute garlic and bread crumbs until fragrant and bread crumbs are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and pour bread crumb mixture into a small bowl; fold in parsley and remaining lemon zest.
Transfer artichoke mixture to two plates; sprinkle with bread crumb mixture.