Normally I have no interest in snack foods except when I’m in the chip aisle at the grocery store (KETTLE CHIPS, that’s all I’m gonna say).  I try to stay the 3-meals-a-day course, partially out of habit and partially because snacks are inherently evil and pander to the obesity epidemic.  Sorry America, but it’s true.  Ahhh but then I found this wonderful little treasure whilst surfing the interweb and I couldn’t resist making it, hypocrite that I am.  Very simple and ultra rewarding, especially when paired with some lightly toasted pita bread.  In fact, I was so pleased with the results, I concluded that it tasted like an $8-9 appetizer at a decent restaurant.  Patting myself on the back?  Yes, indeed.   Also pointing out the ridiculous price of food nowadays… Thanks, inflation!  $8 used to be enough for a decent meal and a soda.

Now at some point in my life, I would have questioned the merits of canned artichoke hearts or canned anything for that matter.  But it’s winter.  And winter is nothing if not an instigator for weight gain and laziness.  And who am I kidding, I wouldn’t have thought about it for that long and I have a whole shelf full of canned vegetables at home.  I’m only a part-time health nut, so I’ll spare myself the guilt.  Anyway, I’ll stop blabbing.  Enjoy!

Can you tell I’ve begun to heavily photoshop my pictures?  And also can you tell that I don’t really know what I’m doing?  Woohoo!

Ingredients:

1 bulb garlic

14oz. can artichoke hearts (no marinade or salt added)

3-4 tbsp olive oil (enough to cover most of the bottom of a saucepan) + some for roasting

1/4 tsp sea salt

sprinkling red pepper flakes

1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Equipment:

Tin foil

A Vegetable chopper, blender, immersion blender, or something of that ilk

A saucepan

How to Make:

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Take your bulb of garlic and peel away most of the excess bulb skin.  Cut the top of the cloves, getting as many cloves as possible (I went around and made sure all of the cloves were cut).  Place the garlic in tin foil, and add some olive oil over the top.  Crumple tin foil and roast in oven 30-35 minutes.  If you don’t want to roast garlic, you can bypass this step and just cook it raw with the rest of your ingredients.  But I tell ya, it’s worth it!

After garlic is ready, drain excess liquid out of the can of artichoke hearts.  Pop the garlic cloves out of the bulb.  Combine the olive oil, roasted garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, salt, and artichoke hearts in the saucepan.  I only added half the bulb of garlic and used the rest for an olive oil dip/salad topping, but if you want a really garlic-y artichoke dip, use all the cloves.  Let mixture simmer about an hour and then remove from heat.  I think I cooked for longer than an hour… just wanted to make sure that all the artichoke hearts were of equal squishiness.

Add lemon juice, stir, and transfer into blender.  Blend until it starts to look yummy.  In my case, I preferred not to liquify the whole thing.  I left a few artichoke pieces intact for good chewing material (to remind myself I still have all my teeth!).

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