I had a bunch of nice medium-size artichokes and no idea what to do with them – leafed through various cookbooks but recipes looked the same, and those interesting among them i made several times already. Luckily then i opened Olney’s Simple French Food and there it was – gratin of artichokes! (btw always count on Olney’s books for interesting gratin ideas). Basically you make a mixture of dried out, then soaked in water and squeezed out bread, parsley, onion and garlic, layer sliced artichoke hearts between two layers of bread mixture and baked for an hour. Olney doesn’t use lemon water but drops cleaned and sliced artichoke pieces in olive oil to preserve the color.
Excellent dish – as Olney promises after an hour you get tender artichoke slices in a richly browned, crisp encasement. Couple of caveats though – way too much olive oil – i poured off a lot during the baking and it was still too much left trapped in the artichoke layer. Also he doesn’t specify the size of gratin dish – i used 9X13 pyrex and it was too big even for 6 artichokes instead of 4 specified by the recipe.
Served gratin with our signature slow roasted soft shell crabs and assorted crudites.